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New city councilman not who he appears to be

WALSENBURG– Donald George Lewis, 50, the recently sworn-in councilman for the City of Walsenburg is a convicted felon. While it is not disqualifying for a felon to serve on council, and indeed; felons have served before, the sheer scale and diversity of Lewis’s criminal record without prior disclosure makes his serving on council a judgement call. Lewis was encouraged by Walsenburg Mayor Jim Eccher to fill the vacant seat in Ward III of the city, which no one from that ward wanted to run for. Eccher knew Lewis from shared time at the local bowling alley, where Lewis ‘asked good questions’ about the city government. He has been a resident of Walsenburg for the past two years. Lewis, who is currently unemployed, was voted for unanimously by the rest of the council, before they knew his background. The city clerk did run a background check on Lewis, but did not look further than Colorado. A broader search would have quickly revealed his numerous brushes with the law, beginning in 1986. Lewis, who uses several aliases, and has several social security

numbers, has a rap sheet primarily from Florida, Texas, and Utah, where he was arrested for crimes as varied as driving while license is suspended, resisting arrest, failure to appear in court, public intoxication, shoplifting, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of a weapon as a felon, fraud, larceny, forgery, battery and multiple counts of aggravated robbery, His last stint in jail was in Summit County, Utah, in 2006, where he served six years. City Administrator David Johnston, said he did not know at the time of swearing in that Lewis was a felon, but there had been rumors he had been in trouble a long time ago. Johnston reiterated that being a felon is not a restriction of serving on council, and noted he had not been involved with the police since 2012, then asked rhetorically, “At what point does a man get a second chance?” The WJ was unable to contact Lewis for a comment as of press time.

Trustee resigns position

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