An African-American three-star general was demoted in retirement for using a government credit card to patronize strip clubs and other “conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman on multiple occasions,” the Army announced Thursday.
An Army spokesperson said that Maj. Gen. Ronald Lewis, then-senior military aide to former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, was bumped down to brigadier general in his retirement, the lowest-ranked general in the Army, the Chicago Tribune reports.
According to the Army Times, the Defense Department inspector general substantiated allegations that Lewis misused his government and travel charge card for personal expenses, made false official statements about that misuse, had “improper interactions” with women and was drunk on several occasions.
Specifically, the report found that Lewis used a government credit card to spend $1,121.25 at the Candy Bar strip club in South Korea and $1,755.98 at the Cica Cica Boom strip club in Rome—both of which are allegedly often visited by prostitutes. Lewis later said that his government card had been stolen, which led Citibank to forgive the charges in South Korea.
The report also found that Lewis sought to engage in inappropriate relationships with female subordinates and said he often drank in excess in front of junior officers, according to NBC News.
All of the cases arose while Lewis traveled with Carter as defense secretary.
Federal law states that military officers can retire only with the benefits of the rank they last served “satisfactorily.”
“In this case, the Secretary determined that Maj. Gen. Lewis’ highest grade of satisfactory service was as a Brigadier General,” Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith said in a statement.