Robert Decheine, chief of staff to Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), has been fired following his arrest last week for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor, the lawmaker's office announced Tuesday.
"Congressman Rothman immediately consulted appropriate House counsel and terminated Mr. Decheine's employment, effective November 19, 2010, due to the very serious nature of this charge," Rothman spokesman Aaron Keyak said in a statement. "Congressman Rothman considers this alleged criminal act to be shocking, appalling and indefensible. As a parent, he understands the vital importance of protecting our children from predators."
According to the statement, Decheine was arrested in Gaithersburg, Md. at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
New Jersey's The Record reports that Decheine was arrested in a "sting" that "involved placing ads on a 'known website' and then communicating via phone or text message between an undercover officer and a 'John.'"
More from The Record:
Decheine, 48, lives in the District of Columbia and had been Rothman's top aide and confidante since May 2003, running both the Washington and North Jersey offices. He also was paid by Rothman's re-election campaign account. A former aide to Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold, Decheine was a senior adviser to President Obama's campaign organization in New Jersey.
Politico reports that Marc Cevasco, Rothman's legislative director will serve as acting chief of staff for the time being.