News

NJ Congressman Fires Aide After Arrest

Rep. Steve Rothman (credit: rothman.house.gov)

Rep. Steve Rothman (credit: rothman.house.gov)

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.