James Kwon, Oakland Port Official, Spent Thousands In Public Funds At Strip Club

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JAMES KWON
Alamy

A Port of Oakland official has come under fire for spending more than $4,500 of public funds at a strip club during a 2008 conference.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Maritime Director James Kwon spent $4,537 for a "dinner and drink reception" at Treasures, a Houston strip club that was nearly shuttered in 2012 for being a "haven for drugs, prostitution and human trafficking."

"Port commissioners take this matter very seriously," board President Gilda Gonzales told the Chronicle.

Treasures strip club, the location in question, faced a battle with the City of Houston earlier this year over reports of drugs, weapons and prostitution at the club.

According to ABC, there were 43 arrests for prostitution and delivery of a controlled substance at the club between 2008 and May of this year. Treasures has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and county, arguing that city officials are retaliating against the club because it successfully fought for the right not to be considered a sexually oriented business.

In September, a Houston judge ordered the business to forbid dancers from exposing their backsides after viewing footage taken at the club.

"If they follow the court's orders, work with us, we work with them… We don't want to close them if they will obey the law," said a city official to the Houston Chronicle.

The Chronicle detailed a series of expenses that suggest Kwon's is not the only questionable submission over the past few years.

Kwon was appointed to director of maritime in 2007, and, according to the Port of Oakland website, is responsible for the operations, management and development of maritime terminal facilities.

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Port official blows $4,500 at strip club - SFGate

Filed by Robin Wilkey