WASHINGTON, N.J. (AP) – A New Jersey congressman has fired his chief of staff after the aide was arrested in Maryland on a charge of soliciting sex from a minor.
Rep. Steve Rothman took the action after learning that Robert Decheine was among 11 people snared in a Gaithersburg, Md., police sting.
Police placed ads on a website and an undercover officer communicated with customers through phone and text messages.
Police said the 48-year-old was arrested on Nov. 17 after soliciting to have sex with an underage girl. Decheine was released on $15,000 bail.
The Record newspaper reports Rothman’s office issued a statement saying the New Jersey Democrat considers the alleged criminal act “to be shocking, appalling and indefensible.”
Decheine told the newspaper in an e-mail message he had no comment.
Decheine has run Rothman’s Washington and New Jersey offices since May 2003.