Court orders Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis have no contact with alleged illegal contributors

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Alderwoman Chantia Lewis made her first appearance in court for a series of felony charges Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Lewis is charged with one misdemeanor and four felonies, including embezzlement, theft by fraud, public misconduct, falsifying campaign reports and accepting illegal contributions.

Lewis was set free on $1,000 bond. The court ruled as a condition of the bond, she is to have no contact with a series of individuals involved financially in the 43-page criminal complaint.

"That means not in person, by phone, by mail, by electronic device, any way you can think of contacting these people yourself or through a third party is prohibited," Milwaukee County Intake Court Commissioner David Sweet said.

Lewis is accused of depositing those individuals' campaign contributions directly into her personal account.

"Any violations of the court ordered conditions, including the no contact order, could result in the issuance of additional felony charges," Sweet said.

In all, the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office alleges Lewis defrauded taxpayers and her campaign fund $21,666.70. The prosecution did not ask the court to freeze her accounts.

"Ms. Lewis has already been removed from her committee assignments, such that I don't believe there is a significant risk of any further misappropriation," Assistant Milwaukee County District Attorney Matthew Westphal said.

Lewis had no comment after the appearance. Her attorney Michael Maistelman said, "We are not going to try this case in the media. We have no further comment."

Lewis's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 18.

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