A one-time three-star general will be demoted and retire as a brigadier general, the Army confirmed Thursday after he used a government credit card to pay for bills at strip clubs in Rome and South Korea.
Cynthia Smith, a spokeswoman for the Army, said the Pentagon’s inspector general was able to verify that Major Gen. Ronald Lewis — who was the senior military assistant to former Defense Secretary Ash Carter — will be bumped down to brigadier general because he charged the government for his visits to the strip clubs, made false statements and “engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman on multiple occasions.”
Lewis had reached the three-star rank of lieutenant general, but he was demoted to major general when Carter fired him more than a year ago after an investigation uncovered that Lewis had misused a government credit card and had become involved in an extramarital relationship.
Federal law states that military officers can retire only with the benefits of the rank they last served “satisfactorily” — a call the secretary of the Army makes for major generals and brigadier generals.
“In this case, the Secretary determined that Maj. Gen. Lewis’ highest grade of satisfactory service was as a Brigadier General,” Smith said in a statement.
Carter, who had been a friend and mentor to Reynolds, said in a statement at the conclusion of the investigation: “I expect the highest possible standards of conduct from the men and women in this department particularly from those serving in the most senior positions. There is no exception.”