Statesboro City Councilman Gary Lewis indicted for attempted extortion

Statesboro City Councilman Gary Lewis indicted for attempted extortion

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - A Statesboro City Council member under federal indictment declined to comment on the case when WTOC asked him.

Thursday, Gary Lewis was indicted with attempted extortion. Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore sat down with WTOC Friday to talk about the case and what you expect from elected leaders.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI say Councilman Lewis offered his help to change an alcohol ordinance last year to help one business in exchange for $2,500 in cash.

Lewis stands accused of offering help to a business that wanted to be able to sell alcohol through a drive-thru window. Lewis announced months ago he would not seek re-election and the indictment comes as he wraps up his fourth term in office.

Mayor Moore chose her words carefully Friday as she reacted to the accusations against Lewis. She talked about the public trust she and other leaders have with the public.

"And any time an elected official appears to violate that trust for personal gain, it makes me very sad," said Mayor Moore.

When contacted Friday, Lewis said he'd been advised not to comment. The indictment came two days after the city's last scheduled council meeting, which would be Lewis' last in office.

Mayor Moore said she planned to veto a council vote from this week that raised their retirement benefits. She said if the council wants to try and override her veto, Lewis and the rest of the council must call a special meeting to do it.

Copyright 2015 WTOC. All rights reserved.