A planned misdemeanor guilty plea from the head of the Capitol Police Department’s Office of Diversity on allegations that she embezzled public funds was not accepted Tuesday in federal court.
The case involves Deborah K. Lewis’s previous employment at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, before she took her job in July 2011 with the Capitol Police force.
Lewis had been prepared to enter a guilty plea Tuesday to one count of misdemeanor theft of public money, property, or records, according to court papers filed by her attorney.
However, no plea was accepted during the scheduled plea agreement hearing Tuesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, according to court officials. Her attorney, David Benowitz of Washington, could not be reached for comment after the hearing.
A future court date in the matter has not yet been set, according to William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
The probe that led to Lewis being charged earlier this year was handled by investigators from the Office of Inspector General who were assigned to ICE at the Homeland Security Department.
Lewis had been employed at that agency, according to a work history, from 2004 to 2010. A 2010 public appearance announcement described her as a “chief diversity officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
She has been serving since July 3, 2011, as the diversity officer and equal-employment manager for the Capitol Police. Lewis is just the second person ever to hold that job, a post created in 2008 to combat the department’s history of race- and gender-based discrimination complaints and lawsuits.
A department spokesman said Lewis remains on administrative leave from the job pending the outcome of the case.
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