March 30th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
5 years ago

RNC staffer fired after nightclub controversy

A Republican National Committee staffer who went to a risque Hollywood nightclub with party donors and then expensed the tab has been fired.
A Republican National Committee staffer who went to a risque Hollywood nightclub with party donors and then expensed the tab has been fired.

Washington (CNN) - A Republican National Committee staffer who went to a risque Hollywood nightclub with party donors and then expensed the tab has been fired, RNC Chief-of-Staff Ken McKay said in an internal memo sent to committee members late Monday and obtained by CNN.

McKay said an investigation into how the RNC ended up financing a nearly $2,000 outing at Voyeur - a trendy Los Angeles club where topless dancers can be seen mimicking sex acts - determined that a group of young donors went to the club after attending a Young Eagles event in Los Angeles in February.

The Young Eagles program is an RNC effort to cultivate up-and-coming donors in their 30s and 40s. One of the donors in the group that night was Erik Brown, a GOP consultant from Orange County, who ultimately picked up the tab at the club.

The Voyeur visit "was not an RNC sanctioned event and was not associated in any way with any RNC official event," McKay stressed in the memo.

"Subsequently, a request for reimbursement to the private individual was submitted by a RNC staff person," McKay wrote. "That person was aware that this activity was not eligible for reimbursement and had been previously counseled on this very subject. Accordingly, that staff person has been terminated."

McKay did not identify the fired staffer. He also said Brown, the "private individual," has "verbally agreed" to return the money to the RNC.

Full memo:

Chairman Steele and Co-Chairman Larimer wanted me to update you on media reports circulating today regarding expenditure of RNC funds.

Specifically, the reports point to a reimbursement of $1946.25 to an individual in California for an expenditure at a club named Voyeur West Hollywood. Our investigation has determined that following a Young Eagles event in Los Angeles, a group of individuals did attend such a club on their own. This was not an RNC sanctioned event and was not associated in any way with any RNC official event.

Subsequently, a request for reimbursement to the private individual was submitted by a RNC staff person. That person was aware that this activity was not eligible for reimbursement and had been previously counseled on this very subject. Accordingly, that staff person has been terminated.

Additionally, we have requested by letter repayment of the $1946.25 from the individual who was reimbursed. He has verbally agreed to repay the funds to the RNC.

I want to ensure you that at no time was Chairman Steele or Co-Chairman Larimer or any member of the senior staff aware of the purpose of this reimbursement or present at the afterhours non-official get together.

I speak for all the staff when I say we fully understand the responsibility with which we have been entrusted.

We are dedicated to the efficient use of RNC funds to ensure as many victories in 2010 as possible. We look forward to working with each and every one of you to bring about those victories.

Ken McKay
Chief of Staff
Republican National Committee


Filed under: Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Melinda

    Right, the party that is supposed to stand for family values takes donors to strip clubs, now losing ALL credibility!

    March 30, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. ronalde

    Why fire the guy theres a lot more doing it he just got caught.

    March 30, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  3. cassamandra

    these are the folks the tea party wants to put back into power. Brace yourself for fiscal responsibility.

    March 30, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  4. EBC

    So the RNC fires the "little guy" and keeps their incompetent Chairman Michale Steele. What a load of CRAP!!!!

    This is WHY Americans are sick of this rubbish. It's always the little guy who gets nailed why these RICH GREEDY POLITICIANS like Michael Steele, etc. WHO authorized these events to begin with!!!

    March 30, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. Former Texas Republican

    Anyone who believes this was some behavioral aberration has never been involved in the back stage operations of the Republican Party.

    March 30, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  6. rdepontb

    Well done, and quickly. Back onto the nation's business now!

    March 30, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  7. Doug

    GOP Motto: No on being in the bondage of Democratic fascism; yes on being in the bondage of over paid strippers! (We are suppose to trust them with our money?)

    March 30, 2010 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  8. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    What better way to cultivate up and coming donors? Now if they would change their ideology, I'll sign up!

    March 30, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  9. kwl

    hmmmm maybe the republicans are the right party for me. "not RNC sanctioned" but they had no problem authorizing payment for it without knowing what it was for. That fiscally responsible?? yeah put them in charge

    March 30, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  10. Ferret out the BS

    It was probably some insidious plot akin to torture or brain washing. If you watch enough sex acts, simulated or not, you'll eventually become a republican from the continual assualt of pleasure on your brain or what little there is. The Repugnican leadership is always thinking and devising new ways to bring innocents over to the other side!!!!

    March 30, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  11. AndyBlue

    No one is suprized or even cares anymore about the party of tantrums, obstruction, lies, and fical irresponsibility anymore.

    They have been reduced to not much more than a daily nusance with their constant whining on tv.

    What else has this republican party of hypocracy accomplished in the past 10 years?

    Nothing but death and destruction based on lies.

    Truely the party of FILTH!

    March 30, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  12. hongli

    This is what the RNC has become--- TUGS, THIEVES and LIARS.

    March 30, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  13. Poor Staffer

    Why hasn't Michael Steele resigned? He has shown bad leadership. There are so many scandals surrounding the RNC. Too bad RNC. The damage has been done. All of this in an election year. Great ammunition.

    March 30, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  14. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Yeah, way to go GOP, fire him before he can tell us how many Gross Old Perverts (GOP) were there with him eh? Nice touch, make a scapegoat out of someone who has no power to hide yourselves..

    March 30, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  15. Mark

    If it would have been a democrat the media would have said he was just interviewing for acorn and have been promoted.

    March 30, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. Tommy P

    So how many of these people consider themselves "Christians?"

    March 30, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  17. LOL

    time for the senior eagles to get back in power, then the taxpayers would be billed instead of RNC.

    March 30, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  18. Rowny J Vidot

    Going a little over the top and taking things for granted cost that person his/her job.

    March 30, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  19. Liz

    Don't ya love it when God's Own Party gets caught with their pants down? these self-righteous hypocrites need to start practicing what they preach. but the scary part, and this has been proven to me in a personal conversation, is that they don't get the concept of hypocrisy. that's why they're so good at it.

    March 30, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  20. noneofyourbusiness

    The Party of Family Values should have known that going to a club like this should< be the one time it would be right to be The Party of No!

    March 30, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. Dano

    I guess the Young Eagles aren't as interested in family values as they are in voyeurism, but the GOP won't do anything to jeapordize getting their money. I knew some low-level unnamed "staffer" would be found to fall on his sword and take the blame for this.

    March 30, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  22. Dave

    In other words, the Party of Family Values got caught and some poor junior staffer had to pay a price for what the senior staffers probably knew about. Typical Republicans...

    March 30, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  23. Scalliwag

    haha!!! I can hardly wait to find out who these up and coming donors that went were.

    March 30, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  24. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Republicans are nothing but hypocrites. They are all prohibitionists at heart but think nothing of doing what they try to stop others from doing.

    March 30, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  25. Jack Fl

    A good example of moral standards

    March 30, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
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