It had great lamb chops – Michigan lawmaker justifies spending campaign money at strip club

Francis Akhalbey July 30, 2021
In his recent campaign finance disclosure, Michigan lawmaker Jewell Jones reported he spent campaign money at a strip club -- Photo: Michigan House of Representatives

A Michigan lawmaker, who recently filed his latest campaign finance disclosure, reported he spent $221 in campaign funds at a Dearborn strip club. According to The Detroit News, Democratic state Representative Jewell Jones reported he went to the Pantheion Club on March 8 to attend a “constituent meeting” on “potential economic projects.”

Jones, who made history in 2016 when he became Michigan’s youngest state representative at the age of 21, submitted his fundraising report last Sunday. And when the news outlet asked him about spending campaign dollars at the Pantheion Club during a phone interview, Jones referred to the establishment as a “lounge” and said he was uncertain if it was a strip club. The call then disconnected.

But a Twitter profile description of an account bearing the name Pantheion Club reportedly describes the establishment as the “the oldest and most established gentlemens [sic] club in Michigan.” In a follow-up text to the news outlet after the phone interview, Jones wrote, “We have (to) meet people where they’re at some times … #HOLLA,” before adding the club made “great lamb chops.”

Besides his expenses at the Pantheion Club, Jones’ campaign finance disclosure also reported he spent over $6,000 at restaurants or lounges he had gone for “meetings” within a stipulated period. Among those “meetings” included one he attended with “other legislators” at the Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar in Las Vegas in March. $696 of campaign funds was spent there. The finance disclosure reported another meeting with “community stakeholders on potential projects” at Inkster-located Jon’s Goodtime Bar & Grill where $514 was spent.

And though it not unusual for lawmakers in Michigan to finance work-related dinners with campaign funds, Jones’ expenses in his recent report supposedly raise eyebrows, The Detroit News reported.

The executive director for nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network, Simon Schuster, told the news outlet that elected officials in Michigan “often use campaign funds to wine, dine and entertain themselves … under the guise of conducting business.”

“While this sort of spending isn’t uncommon, sadly, the venue Rep. Jones chose truly pushes the limit of credulity,” Schuster added.

This is not the first time Jones has made the news for some of his actions. In April, he was arrested after he drove his car into a ditch. A test on his blood alcohol content after the crash revealed he was driving over the limit, Michigan State Police (MSP) stated in a report. The report also stated he got physical with the officers and allegedly told them he was going to get in touch with the governor. He also told them he was in charge of the state police department’s budget.

He was also slapped with a $1,000 fine last week for violating the terms of his bond after he did not settle a bill to keep his alcohol monitor tethering on, The Detroit News reported. That was his second violation.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 30, 2021


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