General from Chicago loses two stars at retirement due to scandal

A former three-star Army general from Chicago who used his government credit card to pay four-figure bar tabs at clubs in Rome and Seoul, South Korea, will retire as a one-star general, the Army said Thursday.Ronald Lewis was profiled in a front-page story...

General from Chicago loses two stars at retirement due to scandal

A former three-star Army general from Chicago who used his government credit card to pay four-figure bar tabs at clubs in Rome and Seoul, South Korea, will retire as a one-star general, the Army said Thursday.

Ronald Lewis was profiled in a front-page story in the Tribune in January 2015 and later became senior military assistant to then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Amid misconduct allegations, Lewis lost that job in November 2015.

A Defense Department investigation found Lewis misused his government charge card for personal expenses, made false statements about it and engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman "on multiple occasions," Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said.

The investigation found Lewis used the card to pay a $1,121 tab at the Candy Bar club in a Seoul neighborhood commonly called "Hooker Hill" and a $1,756 tab at Rome's Cica Cica Boom club, which has signs advertising "Lap Dance" and "Sexy Show."

Lewis, a 1987 graduate of West Point, grew up in the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago's South Side and earned a diploma from the old Mendel Catholic Preparatory High School.

Under the law, officers retire at the highest grade in which they have served satisfactorily, and in Lewis' case, that was determined to be brigadier, or one-star, general.

Lt. Col. Jeremy Larchick, a lawyer representing Lewis, said Thursday he had not received the Army's decision and had no comment.

The Associated Press reported Lewis will see a $20,000 annual cut in his retirement pay and receive about $80,000 a year after taxes in his initial year.

Lt. Gen. Ronald Lewis, from Chicago, removed from top Pentagon post Katherine Skiba

A three-star Army general from Chicago was removed from a top post at the Pentagon on Thursday amid misconduct allegations.

Lt. Gen. Ronald Lewis, who was profiled in a front-page story in the Tribune in January, will no longer be the senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, according...

A three-star Army general from Chicago was removed from a top post at the Pentagon on Thursday amid misconduct allegations.

Lt. Gen. Ronald Lewis, who was profiled in a front-page story in the Tribune in January, will no longer be the senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, according...

(Katherine Skiba)

kskiba@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @KatherineSkiba

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