A longtime congressional chief of staff has been arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor, according to police in Gaithersburg, Md.
Bob Decheine, chief of staff to Rep. Steve Rothman, D-N.J., has been arrested (and fired) following his arrest last Friday. His arrest came as part of a "sting" by Gaithersburg police "involved placing ads on a 'known website' and then communicating via phone or text message between an undercover officer and a 'John.'" He faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a $25,000 fine or both. The New Jersey's The Record reports:
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.
After the news broke, Rothman released a statement severing ties with Decheine.
On Friday, November 19, 2010, at 3:30 pm, the House of Representatives Sergeant at Arms contacted Congressman Steve Rothman personally and informed him that the Gaithersburg Police Department had arrested Mr. Robert Decheine, who was then serving as his Chief of Staff, on a charge of sexual solicitation of a minor. 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. Congressman Rothman considers this alleged criminal act to be shocking, appalling and indefensible.