Former Army Maj. Gen. Ronald Lewis will retire from the U.S. Army at the rank of brigadier general after allegations of using official government credit cards at strip clubs in two different countries.
An Army spokesman confirmed Thursday that Lewis used government credit cards at strip clubs in Korea and Italy, had “improper interactions” with women, all while traveling on official business. Lewis served as a senior military aide to former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter at the time of his indiscretion.
Lewis said he ended up using his government credit card after his personal debit card didn’t work at a strip club in Rome, so he had to walk back to his hotel under supervision of club employee to retrieve a valid method of payment. The bill amounted to nearly $1,800. Lewis admitted to investigators that he had drank to “more than moderation” during several of the incidents.
The bars Lewis is accused of visiting in Korea are in a well known area of Seoul nicknamed “hooker hill.” In another incident, Lewis was drinking in his hotel room with a female enlisted member before a subordinate staffer of his forced him to leave the room. “Sir, respectfully, you’re being really stupid. Don’t do this. She needs to come and stay in my room,” another officer told him at the time according to the Associated Press.
The Department of Defense investigative report finds that Lewis repeatedly lied about his conduct, until presented with incontrovertible evidence.
The demotion in rank still guarantees Lewis a comfortable government pension of approximately $80,000 a year.
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