Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

crooked councilman

This guy is quite a piece of… work.

Chaim Deutsch, a New York City councilman representing Brooklyn pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion last week. He didn’t pay $82,000 in taxes and deducted fraudulent business expenses related to his real estate management company. For that, the Democrat could face up to a year in prison. He doesn’t have to resign though, due to a technicality.

Under the public officers law, Council members face automatic expulsion if they plead guilty to a felony or a crime related to their elected office. But Deutsch, in his plea deal, only pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and it involved his personal finances. He doesn’t have to resign, and apparently he won’t.

Deutsch’s lawyer says his client’s guilty plea won’t interfere with his ability to carry out his Council duties. “He intends to fulfill the will of the voters and complete the term for which he was elected,” the mouthpiece says. I’m pretty sure the will of the voters has substantially changed, now that they know they voted for a crook. And a felon—which is what Deutsch is no matter what he pleaded to—can’t possibly ” carry out his Council duties.” Among those duties is maintaining the public’s trust. He is also likely to have his influence on the Council reduced to the vanishing point, as it plans on punishing Brooklyn’s finest if he refuses to resign. That’s certainly not in the interests of his constituents.

“New York City Council member Chaim Deutsch admitted today that he defrauded the I.R.S. in connection with his real estate business,” Audrey Strauss, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “As an elected official and community leader, Deutsch had a particular responsibility to follow the law. Instead, over a multiyear period, Deutsch concealed his true business income to avoid paying his fair share of taxes.”

But Deutsch is determined to follow one law, at least: the one allowing him to stay in office until his term expires. He’s a stickler for that one.

2 thoughts on “Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

  1. Take a look at the top of his head. Depending on WHAT area of Brooklyn he represents he may well be safe to be reelected, unless a co-religionist arises to challenge him in the primaries. Just like the blacks, who turned out in DROVES for Obama in 2008 here, but vanished when asked to turn out the next year to keep Jon Corzine in office, the Jews, especially the Orthodox and the Hasidim, are also QUITE parochial and unlikely to turn on one of their own, whatever he did. It’s an outgrowth of the concept of mesirah, the Torah principle that Jew must not inform on fellow Jew to the non-Jewish authorities. It’s led to allegations of the hiding and protection of child molesters and other criminals, and it’s led to an attitude among some that loyalty to the faith and the community is paramount. This attitude is by no means universal among American Jews, who range from the ultra-orthodox Hasidim in their long black coats and sideburns to atheistic Sarah Morgenstern down the block who started Jewish and drifted away as she got older, but if enough in this particular constituency hold to it, that’s all this councilman needs to keep him in office.

  2. Devil’s Advocate: He is probably right. It wouldn’t surprise me if all council business is conducted via Zoom right now and he may be allowed to do that from prison.

    Don’t pretend his constituents didn’t know he was a crook. Only 9% voted for him in the Congressional primary. When he was up for re-election, only 870 people voted for his primary opponent. Only 3500 voted for him. That is less than a 5% turnout. Why so low? What is the point? They don’t get a say in who gets elected. The party decides that. When you have election corruption, people no longer have any hope they can change the election by voting. Seventy percent of his district voted for Trump, but Deutch won against a challenger that ran as the Republican, Libertarian, Conservative Party, and Reform Party candidate (it seems like he was actually on the ballot 4 times).

    So, the ballot may have looked looked like:
    Chaim Deutch (D)
    Steve Saperstein (R)
    Steve Saperstein (Reform Party)
    Steve Saperstein (Libertarian Party)
    Steve Saperstein (Conservative Party)

    I see the low voter turnout as an indication that people don’t think voting means anything. They don’t think their vote counts, that the system is rigged.

    I do like the point that the NYC City Council has a committee on private schools and Deutch is the only member.

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