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San Diego City Councilman Accused of Corruption Dies

August 09, 2004|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — City Councilman Charles Lewis, one of three councilmen indicted last year in a City Hall corruption probe involving a strip club owner, died Sunday. He was 37.

Lewis died at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Diego, apparently of natural causes, said George Dickason of the San Diego County medical examiner's office.

Lewis was brought to the hospital's emergency room early Sunday and placed in intensive care. He died about 1:15 p.m., said Sylvia Wallace, a hospital spokeswoman. She would not discuss his medical condition.

A Democrat, Lewis was elected to the City Council in 2002, representing a district in San Diego's southeastern corner, home to many low-income residents.

He and fellow council members Ralph Inzunza and Michael Zucchet were indicted on Aug. 28 following an FBI raid on City Hall several months earlier. Prosecutors said the three councilmen accepted money from Cheetahs strip club owner Michael Galardi and his associates in an effort to repeal San Diego's "no-touch" provision governing adult entertainment businesses.

The law was never repealed. All three pleaded not guilty and were preparing for trial.

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