Oakland, Calif. officials got a healthy dose of sticker shock after reviewing a $4,537 expense report bill for a "drink and dinner reception" at Treasures — the notorious Galleria-area strip club that Houston authorities claim is a den of drugs, prostitution and human trafficking.
Port of Oakland maritime director James Kwon racked up the massive charge while entertaining a group of fellow shipping executives during a 2008 conference (which was first reported in the San Francisco Chronicle). The receipt and its strip club origin didn't come to light until recently, prompting an emergency closed session with Oakland officials Friday night.
The receipt and its strip club origin didn't come to light until recently, prompting an emergency closed session with Oakland officials.
In the receipt submitted by Kwon, the site of the "reception" was listed as D. Houston Inc., the official name of Treasures parent company which shows up on the strip club's credit card receipts.
"Port commissioners take this matter very seriously," board president Gilda Gonzales said in a statement after the meeting. "Over the last several years, we have been taking steps to address Port expenditures, including developing policies."
Oakland authorities are sifting through financial records to determine whether the Treasures party is part of a regular pattern by Kwon of misusing public funds. The Port of Oakland board, which is currently in a labor dispute with its maintenance workers, is scheduled to meet next Monday to discuss the "dinner reception" scandal.
At the moment, the maritime director is attending another conference in China. He has been unavailable for comment.