FDLE arrests former Gadsden County school official


For Immediate Release

January 16, 2015

QUINCY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Office of Executive Investigations arrested Joe Ellis Lewis Jr., 56, on charges of grand theft.  Lewis, who retired from the Gadsden County School District in June 2014 as an assistant principal, and who was previously the director of transportation for the Gadsden County School District, allegedly stole more than $200,000 of reimbursement funds that were owed to the District.   
FDLE Inspectors began investigating Lewis in April 2014 after receiving a referral from the Florida Department of Education, Office of Inspector General.   The investigation revealed that between 2007 and 2010, Lewis deposited reimbursement money into his own bank accounts that should have been paid to the District for use of county school buses for after school programs.  Nonprofits and organizations used county school buses and were to reimburse the school district. Instead, Lewis directed them to make the checks payable to him.  Lewis then deposited the checks into his personal bank account.
Lewis turned himself in around 11:30 yesterday at the Gadsden County Jail on a $50,000 bond.  This case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 2nd Judicial Circuit.
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Samantha Andrews or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001