Michigan Dem Spends Campaign Funds at Strip Club

Michigan state representative Jewell Jones (D.) / WDIV-TV
July 26, 2021

A Michigan Democratic state representative spent $221 in campaign funds at a strip club, according to the lawmaker's financial disclosures.

Rep. Jewell Jones's latest quarterly disclosures list a March "constituent meeting" at the Pantheion Club in Dearborn, Mich. The venue is a topless dancing club and claims to be "the oldest and most established gentlemens [sic] club in Michigan."

The listed purpose for the strip club expense described the meeting as a discussion of "potential economic projects" in Inkster, Mich., which Jones represents in the state house.

Jones, who sits on the legislature's regulatory reform committee, has spent more than $6,400 of his campaign's funds this year at restaurants for ostensibly work-related meetings. One expenditure listed in the disclosures describes a March "dinner meeting with other legislators" at a restaurant in Las Vegas where Jones spent nearly $700.

The 26-year-old lawmaker, who in 2016 was elected as the state's youngest-ever representative, is no stranger to controversy. Jones was arrested on drunk-driving charges in April, after he drove his car into a ditch. In a police report detailing the incident, a paramedic described arriving at the scene to witness a woman in the car with her pants down while Jones's pants were partially down. Police on scene tased and pepper-sprayed Jones when he became combative, and the lawmaker threatened to call on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D., Mich.) to get the officers in trouble.

"It's not going to be good for you," Jones said as officers wrestled him to the ground. "I run you all's budget, bro. When I call Gretchen, I'll need y'all IDs and badge numbers, everything." His blood alcohol content was 0.19, twice the legal driving limit.

Jones violated the terms of his probation this month for the second time by failing to pay for an alcohol-monitoring tether, which he is required to wear to track his alcohol intake. The judge in the case ordered Jones pay a $1,000 fine for the violation and told him he would face jail time if he breaches his bond conditions again.