A Democrat running for Senate in Wisconsin has been charged with four felonies for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her campaign and then lying about it.
Milwaukee City Councilwoman Chantia Lewis is one of several Democrats running for the Wisconsin Senate seat currently held by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.
Lewis is alleged to have stolen $21,000 in campaign funds, which the complaint says the council member dropped into her personal bank account and used for personal expenses. She allegedly filed false campaign finance reports related to her campaigns for Milwaukee City Council.
Lewis faces felony charges for misconduct in office over the course of four years from 2016 to 2020, embezzling over $10,000, knowingly filing a false campaign report, and illegally distributing funds from her campaign account.
Three of the felony charges include punishment up to a $10,000 fine and 3 1/2 years in prison. The embezzlement charge carries a possible max fine of $25,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
In a statement released through her campaign, Lewis attributed the charges to “accounting errors” and insisted she is “innocent of any criminal wrongdoing.”
Johnson has not yet revealed whether he will seek a third term in 2022, though he said in 2016 that he would only seek two terms.
The Wisconsin Senate race is one of several key midterm battles for Republicans as they seek to regain a majority in the upper chamber.
In addition to Lewis, the crowded Democratic Senate field includes Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Alex Lasry, a businessman whose family owns the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team.