‘Great lamb chops’: Michigan lawmaker spent $221 in campaign funds at strip club

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan lawmaker reported spending $221 of his campaign funds at a strip club in March to discuss “potential economic projects” with a constituent, according to a disclosure filed Sunday.

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Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster, turned in his latest fundraising report before Monday’s 5 p.m. EDT deadline for state officeholders and candidates to submit records, The Detroit News reported.

In a telephone interview, the third-term state representative told the newspaper that the Pantheion Club in Dearborn, where he met the constituent, was a “lounge” and said he was not sure if it was a strip club.

A Twitter account using the name Pantheion Club described it as “#1 in topless entertainment!”

“We have (to) meet people where they’re at some times ... #HOLLA,” Jones said in a text message to the News, adding that the suburban Detroit club has “great lamb chops.”

Jones was elected in 2016, WDIV reported. He is a senior deacon, an active member of the National Guard and an auxiliary police officer in Inkster, the television station reported.

In addition to the expense at the Dearborn venue, Jones’ campaign spending report also included a $696 charge at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar in Las Vegas on March 22, the News reported.

Jones described that meeting as a “dinner meeting with other legislators,” according to the newspaper. A week later, the campaign spent $514 at Jon’s Goodtime Bar & Grill in Inkster for a “meeting with community stakeholders on potential projects.”

Simon Schuster, director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, said it is not unusual for lawmakers to use campaign funds for meals. However, the director of the watchdog group said having such a meeting “truly pushes the limit of credulity,” the News reported.

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