Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s chief deputy has repaid more than $200 that he charged to Mangano’s campaign committee for a visit to a Denver strip club last October, a top Mangano aide said Thursday.
Rob Walker’s $228 credit-card charge on Oct. 21 was attributed to the Bavaria Inn at 490 S. Colorado Blvd. in the campaign’s Jan. 15 financial disclosure report. The only business at that address is Shotgun Willie’s, a bar-and-grill that is well-known in the Denver area for its adult entertainment.
Several online reviews of the club, which features such events as “Topless Twister Tuesday,” noted that its credit card receipts read Bavaria Inn rather than Shotgun Willies.
“So that your comptroller — or wife — simply thinks you’ve been eating a lot of schnitzel lately,” one reviewer explained.
After Newsday identified the inn as a strip club in a blog post Wednesday, Chief Deputy County Executive Rob Walker reimbursed “Friends of Ed Mangano” for the $228 spent “in the interest of transparency,” Deputy County Executive Ed Ward said Thursday.
Ward had said Walker and his wife went to the club for its food, not its strippers, when they were in Denver in October for the “American Water Summit.” The conference was sponsored in part by Nassau’s sewer operator. Mangano did not attend.
Ward said the club “was recommended by local people. It’s a roadside-type restaurant with a full menu ... .”
He said there were “no strippers” in the restaurant area where Walker, his wife and others from the conference dined.
However, a description and photos of the facility indicate that strippers are visible from any spot in the eating areas.
Also Thursday, former county legislative candidate Dean Hart, a Democrat who a runs good government advocacy group, asked the enforcement office of the state Elections Board to investigate the credit-card charge, demand reimbursement and reprimand the committee.
State Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman declined to comment, as did Ward.
Good-government groups have long complained that state restrictions are too lax on the spending of campaign money.