Deutsch: I’ll dump $249K in pay to stay a councilman

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Freshman Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) is willing to throw away a quarter-million dollars a year so he can keep working at City Hall, the Sheepshead Bay pol claims,

Deutsch rakes in an additional $100,000 to $249,999 a year on top of his hefty $148,000 Council salary as the president of his Brooklyn-based real estate company, Chasa Management, according to city records.

But Deutsch must give all that up by next January if he wants to keep his seat — because last February the Council voted to give itself a $36,000 pay raise, which went along with anew law that forbids outside income come Jan. 1, 2018.

And Deutsch said he plans to give it up.

“The law is that as of January 2018, that I cannot have any more outside income and that’s what I will follow,” said Deutsch, “because I am running for re-election,”

The one-termer did not elaborate on what he plans to do with Chasa Management.

The law doesn’t go into effect until a year from now, so Council members for whom it applies still have time to figure it all out — but as it get’s closer, they need to be sure to comply, said Dick Dadey of good-government group Citizens Union.

“He would have to divest himself of any involvement with the real estate firm. If he shuts it down, then that would be appropriate, but that is not the only option to him,” he said “As Jan. 1 approaches, he needs to be more specific about what he’s done to comply with the rule.”

Deutsch was the only Brooklyn Council member to vote against both the pay raise and forbidding outside income, records show.

Deutsch currently has $57,714 in his campaign coffers for his 2017 re-election, according to city records. And his cousin, Kalman Yeger, is rumored to be running against him.

Councilman David Greenfield (D–Borough Park) was making some extra cash as an attorney before City Hall changed the rules earning between $60,000 to $99,000, according to his records.

But Greenfield, who has not yet announced his reelection campaign, claims he gave it up in fall 2015, and now only does pro bono work teaching at Brooklyn Law School, according to his spokesman Daniel Pearlstein.

• • •

Brooklyn lawyers angling to be the borough’s next top prosecutor are blasting Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez for not showing his face during a candidates forum last week, and for taking his time in announcing his own candidacy, despite having raised more than $866,000 for his campaign.

The city’s former Human Rights Commissioner Patricia Gatling happily participated during the March 7 forum at Brownsville’s Atlantic Towers, but said she was shocked to not be joined by the current top legal eagle, she said.

“I think it’s disrespectful. I don’t know why he’s not showing up,” said Gatling. “The people have a right to know who we are. He was in the office but people didn’t know who he was. People ask us questions and people see you and that’s how they determine who they want to lead.”

But Gonzalez is not trying to bend any rules — he’s simply not a candidate yet, said his spokeswoman Lis Smith.

“D.A. Gonzalez is 100 percent focused on serving the people of Brooklyn. He will be announcing his intentions in the near future. As he’s not yet a candidate, he is not attending candidates forums,” said Smith in an e-mailed statement. “He looks forward to a robust debate about the issues facing Brooklyn.

Candidate Marc Fliedner — a civil rights attorney who helped convict Police Officer Peter Liang for fatally shooting Akai Gurley in 2014, and a former assistant district attorney under former D.A. Charles Hynes — also didn’t make an appearance because of a prior commitment, he said, but criticized Gonzalez for being a no-show, claiming it should either be everyone or no one at these debates.

“It’s outrageous that Eric Gonzalez has declined to enter the race to date in order to avoid engaging in forums,” said Fliedner. “It’s not my campaigns inclination to participate in forums until he is required to participate like everybody else.”

And the mud-slinging is now going both ways — Gonzalez is slamming Fliedner and accusing him of smearing the late Ken Thompson, when he told The Post, “DA Kenneth Thompson was not of sound mind in the final months of his life,” because he recommended no jail time for Peter Liang.

Gonzalez later told the Daily News that what Fliedner said was “shameful.”

Candidates who showed up at the March 7 debate included Brooklyn Heights District Leader Anne Swern, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) and former prosecutor Ama Dwimoh, who now works for Borough President Adams.

The primary is in September 2017.

• • •

Freshman Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Red Hook), who has repeatedly come under fire for his controversial remarks about Israel, may face yet another competitor in his quest for re-election — the woman who had the seat before him.

Former Red Hook Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez recently submitted paperwork to register as a candidate for the 38th Council District race, according to the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Menchaca will also face Sunset Park attorney Delvis Valdes, and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D–Sunset Park) is rumored to be seeking the seat.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018
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Reader feedback

Jay from Bay says:
Deutsch should keep his day job and leave the council job for someone who wants to be a law maker. So far we've paid him $400,000 and he's written 2 laws. Both laws force the city to do what they're already doing so they did bub-kiss. His staff might be helpful, but his district is effectively without a law maker because he's not making laws. I can think of about 1000 ways the city could be helpful to seniors, businesses, and schools but he can only think of 2? I should run for city council but too bad I don't have a no show job like Chaim and all that real estate money.
March 16, 2017, 3:50 pm
Barbara from Coney Island says:
jay From the bay, that's not the only thing we elect someone to do, come on. Lawmaker doesn't mean just writing pointless laws, it's also about voting in a way that represents our interests on laws. Like voting against that bag taX. Did u ever see the stupid crap laws that the city Councilmen put out sometimes? It doesn't bother me that he only passed two laws.
His office is good, even u can admit that! And he is the only politician who I see at practically every meeting. Where is everyone else? U only see Jeffries or treyger when they are up for election.
Deutsch has my vote!
March 16, 2017, 4:27 pm
Barbara from Coney Island says:
his cousin is running against him? I think that is very strange. sounds like more to the story.
March 16, 2017, 4:30 pm
Jay from Bay says:
Barbara: Perhaps he should then run against Treyger in Coney Island since his support comes from outside the district. Here in his district we have McMansions going up and giant towers. and he commiserates with his district with a "what to do?" look on his face. As a councilman he has the power to downzone! He can effect zoning and stop these developments. Has he? Absolutely not! Why? Perhaps when you 2/3 of your income comes from real estate management they might conflict with your duty as a councilman, but who cares when his staff will send a fax for you? Right?
March 16, 2017, 4:37 pm
Barbara from Coney Island says:
I live in trump village & that is his district. his office is very helpful with real Problems, not just sending. A fax. his ofice helps me all the time. i am a senior & they call me to check and see if they can help with anything.
March 16, 2017, 4:56 pm
Ed from Sheepshead Bay says:
Councilman Deutsch is an amazing Council Member. As a life long resident of Sheepshead bay, he is by far the best Council Member we've ever had. Jay, if you've ever had the opportunity to work with his amazing staffers at his office, or acknowledge the many things he does for our community on a regular bases, such as getting streets plowed which would have otherwise been ignored, you would realize how lucky we are to have him as our representative. He's gone far and beyond to truly represent and take care of those people in his district, I just wish our other elected representatives would follow by his example. I commend him for taking such a major financial hit in order to represent us, God knows there are very few elected officials that would be willing to do the same.
March 17, 2017, 10:16 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Why people vote for people that don't care about them is beyond reason. Mr. Deutsch voted againt a law that was against his peronsal interest. The people of BayRidge are foolish if they don't see his lack of care for the community.
March 17, 2017, 2:53 pm
Anon says:
Hey Jay - I would rather have a councilman who when you call them up they help you, than a councilman (or woman) who passes yet another dumbass law that is never enforced. I have to say one thing about this guy Deutsch when you call him up and you need help with something, he takes care of it. As far as development it's not so easy to stop. The first step to downzoning is the local community board and they are just rubber stamps because they live in McMansions themselves.
March 17, 2017, 6:46 pm
Moses Kestenbaum ODA from Williamsburg says:
Menchacha should get his ass kicked out of office. He should have never been there in the first place. An unamerican and should never represent American people . Shame on him .
March 19, 2017, 11:13 pm

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