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NYC Council member expelled over guilty plea on tax charges

April 28, 2021 Associated Press
Chaim Deutsch. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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A New York City Council member was expelled following his guilty plea to federal charges of evading $82,000 in taxes.

Council member Chaim Deutsch, a Brooklyn Democrat, was ousted from the 51-member body on Tuesday after City Council leaders determined that his guilty plea meant he was automatically expelled.

“Mr. Deutsch confessed to a crime and violated his oath of office. He is no longer a member of the City Council,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a news release.

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Deutsch, 52, pleaded guilty last week to filing a false tax return in connection with outside income from his real estate management company.

“As an elected official and community leader, Deutsch had a particular responsibility to follow the law,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. “Instead, over a multi-year period, Deutsch concealed his true business income to avoid paying his fair share of taxes.”

Deutsch faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine when he is sentenced in July.

Deutsch, who was first elected to the council in 2013, had maintained that he could serve out his term despite his guilty plea. Henry Mazurek, an attorney for Deutsch, said on Twitter that his client is “evaluating all of his legal rights and options in the face of this sudden decision by the speaker.”

Mazurek added, “It is a sad day when those in charge think it is better to keep an empty seat in City Council than to give continued voice to Mr. Deutsch’s constituency.”

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