BY BUDDY NEVINS
An attorney for a key supporter of the Sheriff Al Lamberti’s re-election campaign called his arrest for domestic abuse a “mistake” and a “big misunderstanding” on Wednesday.
William E. Lewis, who in addition to being a Republican activist also has a radio show on AM 740 WSBR, “knows a lot of people in law enforcement”, his wife warned sheriff’s deputies when they responded to her 911 call almost a week ago.
The deputies’ report states that Lewis choked his wife with his hands until she was unable to breath. He then grabbed a cell phone away from her when she tried to call 911. His two children reportedly witnessed the fight, according to the report from the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
He then fled from the house and she called 911.
When deputies arrived, she allegedly told them she was fearful because during an earlier fight, Lewis “sprayed her entire body” with Lysol and hit her in the face with the can causing her to get “several stitches above her eye.
Lewis was charged with a domestic violation with battery by touching or striking. He was also charged with obstructing justice by tampering by stopping his victim from calling 911.
Styling himself a key member of the Lamberti re-election campaign, Lewis is frequently seen at the sheriff’s re-election events and other GOP affairs. He is a consultant who often receives money from campaigns, such as $7,600 he was paid for “media” by Julie Shapiro-Harris in her losing primary race for circuit court.
Lewis said he wasn’t being paid by the Lamberti campaign for helping on some of the sheriff’s computer media, such as Facebook. Still, Lamberti told the Sun-Sentinel that he had fired Lewis.
Allegations immediately surfaced that Lewis was given special treatment by the sheriff’s department since the incident happened Thursday, August 23, but he didn’t surrender until Tuesday, August 28.
“That’s a complete falsehood,” John Contini, his attorney, said. “It’s called Hurricane Isaac..the storm came and there was a delay.”
At a bond hearing after spending the night in jail, his victim, his wife Jennifer, testified. She asked that he be released and that Lewis be allowed contact with her.
“I love him,” Jennifer Lewis said. “I would love him to come home with me.”
But prosecutors argued that Lewis has a past record in the 1990s.
After listing to both sides for less than three minutes, County Judge Christopher Pole ordered Lewis to have no contact with his wife except by telephone. Pole heard Lewis’ case because Judge Jay Hurley, the usual judge overseeing bond hearings, recused himself. Lewis said he knew Hurley from politics.
Lewis was freed on $5,000 bail.
“This whole thing is a huge misunderstanding, a mistake,” the attorney added. “The truth will come out.”