A Wisconsin candidate for U.S. Senate was charged with theft and fraud after violating campaign finance laws. Chantia Lewis, a current Milwaukee city council member, allegedly used over $21,000 improperly.
As reported by The Houston Chronicle, Lewis used over $21,000 of campaign finances on “car payments, family trips, a worship conference and other personal expenses.” The Milwaukee county attorney’s office filed a total of four felonies and one misdemeanor against her.
Lewis was elected to Milwaukee City Council first in 2016 and announced her campaign for Senate in July. While Lewis hasn’t made any comment regarding the situation, her attorney Jason Luczak said that she would be trying to get the charges dismissed.
According to the complaint, Lewis used “$13,400 in campaign funds for personal expenses; deposited $2,725 in campaign donations for personal use; spent nearly $3,300 in campaign money on travel and received $2,250 in false travel reimbursement from the City of Milwaukee.”
Apparently, this has been going on since 2016 when Lewis was elected to the Milwaukee City Council. Lewis allegedly falsely represented the amount of money she was owed by the city of Milwaukee for travel reimbursement when she had used funds from her campaign finance account to pay for the expenses in the first place.
She also used around $400 in campaign funds to pay for a family vacation in Georgia at a trampoline park and fast-food restaurants. The complaint allegedly reads, “There is no reason that a local public official who deals solely with City of Milwaukee issues would need to campaign in Georgia, approximately 800 miles away. Based on the nature of some of these expenses (i.e. a trampoline park, ATM withdrawals), there is no way these could be considered as campaign related expenses.”
According to The Chronicle, the claims filed against Lewis could cause up to a $10,000 fine and 3.5 years in prison for the felonies, up to $25,000 and 10 years in prison for embezzlement, and up to nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine for the misdemeanor charge.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Chantia Lewis” by Chantia Lewis.