Brindisi aide charged with hiring prostitute, fired

May 11, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An aide to Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi of New York was charged by state police with patronizing a prostitute Friday, New York State Police announced.

The aide, John Stemen, was fired from his position as a caseworker Thursday when Brindisi’s office learned of the allegations, according to a statement emailed to reporters.

"As soon as we were made aware of the charges, John Stemen was immediately terminated," according to the statement.

Stemen did not immediately return a phone message left for him Friday.

The 57-year-old Utica resident was arrested Friday.

"Stemen was charged following an investigation involving a 17-year-old who he admitted to meeting via the internet and paying $200 for a sexual date," according to the state police statement on the arrest.

Stemen had worked as a communications aide to Brindisi when he served in the New York state Assembly prior to his election to Congress last fall.

The charge against Stemen is a misdemeanor. He’s scheduled to appear in Utica City Court on May 20.

Brindisi addressed the charges against Stemen on Monday, saying he was shocked and disappointed.

"He worked for me for eight years," Brindisi said. "We commend the law enforcement officials that investigated this case. We take these matters very seriously. When I found out about it, I immediately terminated him from my office."

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