Misdemeanor Guilty Plea Rejected in Capitol Police Manager’s Embezzlement Case

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 17: A police car sits in front of the U.S. Capitol building, on February 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. Earlier today the FBI arrested a man with possible ties to al-Qaeda, for plotting to blow up the U.S. Capitol building in an apparent suicide attack. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
National Journal
Billy House
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Billy House
June 24, 2014, 3:12 p.m.

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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