Ex-Winfield deputy fire chief charged with forgery, official misconduct

A former Winfield Fire Protection District administrator is free on $10,000 bail while facing felony charges of forgery and official misconduct.

According to the indictments released Wednesday morning, former Winfield Deputy Fire Chief Bryan Lewis, 44, of the 1900 block of Richton Drive in Wheaton, is charged with two felony counts of forgery and two felony counts of official misconduct.

According to the indictments, Lewis on Feb. 5 presented Chief Phillip DeMenza with a false Triton College diploma dated May 1995.

The official misconduct charges stem from the forgery allegations.

Fire district attorney Bernie Weiler declined to address specifically why Lewis would be presenting a 19-year-old diploma to the chief but said there are "often promotional or participatory opportunities that arise within the district that call for documentation of one form or another."

Lewis, a nearly 17-year veteran of the department, was charged June 30, but prosecutors requested the case be impounded and the indictment sealed until Lewis turned himself in on a $10,000 arrest warrant, which he did Tuesday.

Contacted Wednesday morning, DeMenza said he couldn't comment on the case because it involves pending litigation.

DeMenza said Lewis resigned from the district in March.

If convicted, Lewis faces two to five years in prison. His next court date is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 12 before Judge Brian Telander.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.