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Strip club bills: $3,988


Andreatta, David. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [Rochester, N.Y] 22 Jan 2011.

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Abstract
David Damelio, the former director of the Greater Rochester International Airport, charged $3,988 worth of visits to Larry Flynt's Hustler Club in midtown Manhattan to the county-run airport while on business trips to New York City, according to a Monroe County review of his business and travel expenses released Friday.

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David Damelio, the former director of the Greater Rochester International Airport, charged $3,988 worth of visits to Larry Flynt's Hustler Club in midtown Manhattan to the county-run airport while on business trips to New York City, according to a Monroe County review of his business and travel expenses released Friday. The county found that Damelio charged the airport credit card at the strip club, which boasts a rooftop cigar lounge that overlooks the Hudson River, on five occasions in 2007 and 2008. During two visits to the club in August and September 2007, Damelio dropped $1,020 and $1,333, respectively. The review was launched following a disclosure in the Democrat and Chronicle last month that Damelio had spent nearly $17,000 of Monroe County Airport Authority funds on cigars in the name of business over a three-year period. "The expenditures revealed by Monroe County's internal review are, without question, inherently inappropriate," said County Executive Maggie Brooks. "In no uncertain terms, I condemn this misuse of Monroe County Airport Authority funds, and question the poor judgment that led to these expenses." Damelio, who was a county employee, resigned Jan. 3 amid intense public outrage over his tobacco purchases. The Hustler Club expenses were subsequently docked from his final paycheck and reimbursed to the airport, according to the county. The Democrat and Chronicle discovered the tobacco purchases while inspecting airport credit card statements and expense reports that were obtained under a Freedom of Information Law request for records dating from 2006 though 2010.

But the Hustler Club expenses were not included in the records provided by the county. In responding to the Democrat and Chronicle's request for the records, which was made in September, the county acknowledged that it did not know the whereabouts of all the records for 2007. The Democrat and Chronicle subsequently found that four pages of 2008 credit card statements were missing. In his report on the review, County Finance Director Scott Adair, who by statute is the treasurer of the Airport Authority and has conceded never having reviewed Damelio's business expenses until now, noted the missing documents and had them produced by the bank that issued the credit card. The missing pages further highlight the lack of scrutiny the airport board paid to business expenditures, which under the policies at the time were to have been monitored by the board treasurer and the airport finance director, a subordinate of Damelio. County spokesman Noah Lebowitz said it was unclear why the documents were missing. "We don't know the circumstances under which these documents went missing," Lebowitz said. "What was given to (the Democrat and Chronicle) was what was in the possession of the airport at the time of the (Freedom of Information Law) request, which is what is required by law." The county review found that Damelio spent another $2,222 at tobacco shops that were previously undisclosed because they were contained in the missing documents. The county found no other expenses to be questionable, but noted that record keeping was shoddy. "In general, for the period reviewed, I've noted that the overall record keeping of credit card information was not well maintained," Adair wrote, noting further that internal airport policies lacked specifics as to what documentation was needed to support an expense. Asked whether the county would demand reimbursement for cigar expenses, Lebowitz said no. "While the county executive believes the tobacco purchases demonstrated poor judgment, they do not rise to the level of inappropriateness of adult entertainment," Lebowitz said. "As you are aware, tobacco and alcohol expenses have been prohibited as a matter of policy going forward. The county executive felt that adult entertainment, however, was highly inappropriate and required immediate reimbursement." James Vazzana, the chairman of the Airport Authority board, did not return a phone message seeking comment. Earlier in the week, the Airport Authority board adopted tougher financial oversight policies at the behest of the Brooks administration that now require business expenses to be approved by the treasurer and the board and reviewed publicly at every scheduled board meeting. The new policies also prohibit tobacco and alcohol purchases. DANDREAT@DemocratandChronicle.com

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Indexing (details)
Subjects Airports, Business expenses, County executives, Adult entertainment, Credit cards Hustler Club (NAICS: 722410) Strip club bills: $3,988 Andreatta, David Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 2011 Jan 22, 2011 2011 NEWS Gannett Co., Inc. Rochester, N.Y. United States Newspapers English News Airports, Business expenses, County executives, Adult entertainment, Credit cards 846775284 http://ezproxy.drake.brockport.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proqu est.com/docview/846775284?accountid=26985 Copyright 2011 - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle NY - All Rights Reserved 2011-01-23 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle << Link to document in ProQuest

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