Rothman Names New Chief of Staff

Posted January 5, 2011 at 11:42am

After an embarrassing stint with his former chief of staff of seven years, Rep. Steven Rothman (D) has named a new top staffer to oversee his New Jersey and Washington, D.C., offices.

Tom O’Donnell, former chief of staff for Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) and former Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.), will replace Robert Decheine, who was fired in mid-November after being accused of soliciting sex from a minor.

“I am excited to begin the 112th Congress with Tom as my new Chief of Staff,” Rothman said in a news release. “He is a man of the highest moral character and brings the political, legislative, and leadership skills that we need to best serve the people of New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District.”

Decheine, 48, was one of 11 people arrested in Gaithersburg, Md., during a Gaithersburg Police Department operation that lured potential predators through the Internet to an undercover cop posing as a 15-year-old girl. He was released on a $15,000 bond.

House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood contacted Rothman personally following Decheine’s arrest.

Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.