Rep. Jewell Jones justifies spending campaign funds at strip club, saying he believed it was a lounge

click to enlarge State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster. - Michigan House of Representatives
Michigan House of Representatives
State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkster.

Sometimes you just have to meet people where they’re at, wise words spoken not by Aristotle or Plato, but state Representative Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) via a text message to The Detroit News.

Jones took that sentiment very literally as the ostentatious politician comes under criticism for spending $221 at Pantheion Gentleman’s Club in Dearborn. The expense was listed on Jones’ fundraising report, which was listed as a “constituent meeting” to discuss “potential economic projects.”

In a phone interview with The Detroit News, Jones, 26, says he wasn’t aware that the popular strip club, known for its dining, particularly the lamb chops, was even a nude entertainment venue — he thought it was a “lounge.”

Simon Schuster, executive director of the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network, told The Detroit News that Michigan's elected officials "often use campaign funds to wine, dine and entertain themselves ... under the guise of conducting business."

He’s right.

Former Wayne County Sheriff, the late Benny Napoleon, was found to have spent more on meals and traveling than Mayor Mike Duggan and every sheriff, commissioner, and executive in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties combined.

Jones is currently facing up to two years in prison on charges related to a DUI he received in April. Last week, Jones was fined $1,000 after failing to pay for his court-ordered alcohol monitor. This was Jones’ second bond violation.

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About The Author

Alex Washington

Born and raised on Detroit's Westside, Alex Washington is about as Detroit as they come. She judges your coney island order and serves a mean side-eye when anything across Eight Mile is called "Detroit." Her writing has been published in Real Detroit Weekly, The Detroit Free Press, Model D, BLAC magazine, and...
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