Democratic state lawmaker spent campaign money at strip club: 'We have [to] meet people where they're at some times...#HOLLA'

A Democratic Michigan lawmaker reported spending $221 of his campaign money at a strip club for a "constituent meeting" to discuss "potential economic projects," the Detroit News reported.

What are the details?

The paper said state Rep. Jewell Jones turned in his new fundraising disclosure report Sunday, and added that Jones in a phone interview described the Pantheion Club — the Dearborn spot where the March 8 meeting took place — as a "lounge."

The News reported that Jones said he wasn't sure if it was a strip club before the phone call became disconnected.

But the paper said a Twitter account using the name Pantheion Club describes it as "the oldest and most established gentlemens [sic] club in Michigan."

The third-term lawmaker noted to the News in a text message after the interview, "We have [to] meet people where they're at some times...#HOLLA" and added that the Pantheion Club had "great lamb chops."

What else do we know about Jones' spending?

Jones' campaign finance disclosure shows more than $6,400 spent at restaurants or lounges for "meetings" from Jan. 1 through July 20, the News said. Those expenditures included $696 at Ferraro's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar in Las Vegas on March 22 for what Jones said was a "dinner meeting with other legislators" and $514 at Jon's Goodtime Bar & Grill in Inkster a week later for a "meeting with community stakeholders on potential projects."

The paper said it's "not rare for a Michigan lawmaker to use campaign funds to purchase dinners related to their official duties. However, the level and type of spending described in his new report is unusual."

Simon Schuster, executive director of the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network, added to the News that "the venue Rep. Jones chose truly pushes the limit of credulity."

More problems

The paper said Jones made headlines recently on the heels of his April 6 arrest when — according to a Michigan State Police report — his black Chevy Tahoe drifted in and out of lanes on Interstate 96 and then careened into a ditch.

The News said Jones was accused of struggling with troopers after the crash and allegedly told officers he'd call the governor and had oversight of the state police budget. Jones' blood alcohol content was 0.19, the paper said, citing the police report, adding that the legal driving limit is 0.08.

The paper said Jones was "bound over to Livingston County Circuit Court June 30 on drunken driving charges and his next hearing in the case is scheduled for August."

More from the News:

Last week, he was fined $1,000 for a bond violation in which he failed to pay the fee to keep his alcohol monitor tethering on. The violation was his second.

In June, Jones was accused of misrepresenting the circumstances surrounding military orders that prevented him from getting his court-ordered drug and alcohol testing.

Jones had been allowed to suspend pretrial drug and alcohol testing for June 12-26 training with the Michigan National Guard at Camp Grayling, according to court records. But prosecutors argued Jones during that time frame tagged himself on Facebook as being at Planet Fitness in Wayne and legislative records indicate he was in Lansing for committee meetings, according to court records.

Bruce Springsteen's drunk driving, reckless driving charges dropped

Prosecutors dropped legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen's drunk driving and reckless driving charges Wednesday because his .02 blood-alcohol level was well below the .08 legal limit after his arrest at New Jersey's Sandy Hook federal park late last year.

However, the 71-year-old pleaded guilty to drinking tequila shots and was fined $500, reported.

What are the details?

Springsteen sat next to his lawyer, Mitchell Ansell, during a virtual appearance before Magistrate Judge Anthony Mautone, answered a few questions from his lawyer, and admitted he drank alcohol on Nov. 14, 2020, within a "closed area" of the park where drinking alcohol was recently prohibited, the outlet said.

"I had two small shots of tequila," Springsteen said, according to

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Baker said Springsteen did not take a preliminary breath test during field sobriety tests but did give a sample at the park ranger station, the outlet said. Baker said the initial test isn't legally required,, while the judge noted that it's not admissible in court.

With that, the prosecutors moved to dismiss the drunk driving and reckless driving charges, the outlet said.

"I am going to impose nothing but a fine," Mautone said, according to, and noted the musician's clean driving record dating to 1973. "Rarely would you see a driver's abstract so devoid of any entries. I'm convinced a fine is the appropriate sentence in this case."

Mautone said only three violations were on Springsteen's driving record, including using a handheld mobile phone, the outlet said.

"Mr. Springsteen, I need to ask you how long you need to pay that fine?" the judge inquired, according to

Springsteen smiled and answered, "I think I can pay that immediately," the outlet said.

Mautone set Wednesday as the deadline for paying the $500 fine, as well as an additional $40 in court fees, reported.

What did Springsteen's lawyer have to say?

"Mr. Springsteen is pleased with the outcome of today's court appearance," Ansell said in a statement after the hearing, the outlet said. "The prosecutor was unable to provide the necessary evidence and facts as it related to the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving and therefore, dismissed both of those charges. Mr Springsteen, who has no previous criminal record of any kind, voluntarily plead guilty to a violation of consuming an alcoholic beverage in a closed area, agreeing to a fine of $500. We want to thank the court and will have no further comment at this time."

What's the background?

Springsteen — known far and wide as "The Boss" — was arrested after a park ranger spotted him take one of the shots of tequila and start the engine on his Triumph motorcycle, reported, citing court records.

The park ranger said Springsteen smelled "strongly of alcohol," had "glassy eyes," and showed "signs of intoxication."

After news of his arrest surfaced, Jeep pulled its Super Bowl LV ad featuring Springsteen "until the actual facts [about the incident] can be established."

Anything else?

Spotify earlier this week announced the launch of "Renegades: Born in the USA," a podcast hosted by Springsteen and former President Barack Obama that will cover sociopolitical issues such as race and the future of the country and personal subjects such as fatherhood and marriage.