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Milwaukee alder, Senate candidate enters not guilty pleas



FILE - In this March 3, 2021 file photo, Alderwoman Chantia Lewis speaks during a press conference in Milwaukee. Lewis, a minister, member of the Milwaukee City Council and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, was charged Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, with four felonies and one misdemeanor for allegedly stealing at least $21,000 from her campaign fund and then lying about it. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Milwaukee Ald. Chantia Lewis, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, pleaded not guilty Monday to criminal charges that she took more than $20,000 in campaign funds and false travel reimbursements from the city.

Lewis faces four felonies and a misdemeanor in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

In a brief hearing, defense attorney Michael Chernin entered not guilty pleas on her behalf, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Lewis is charged with misconduct in public office, embezzlement of more than $10,000, theft by fraud of less than $2,500, intentionally filing a false campaign finance report and intentionally accepting an illegal campaign finance disbursement.

She is accused of taking $21,666 in campaign funds and false travel reimbursements from the city between 2016 and 2020.

“We are not going to try this case in the media,” one of her attorneys, Michael Maistelman, said in a statement. “We look forward to our day in court.”

Lewis was first elected to the Milwaukee City Council in 2016 and announced her candidacy for Senate in July.

Lewis is one of 12 Democratic candidates in the Senate race for the seat currently held by Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. He has not said yet whether he will seek a third term.

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