Going to Hooters? Not on this city’s dime

September 13, 2013
A sign banning San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is shown posted at a Hooters Restaurant in down town San Diego. Photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake
A sign banning San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is shown posted at a Hooters Restaurant in downtown San Diego. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Two Illinois firefighters are out about $65 after a city council refused to reimburse meals they had at Hooters while attending an out-of-town training seminar.

The firefighters, from Benton, Ill., submitted receipts for two lunches, totaling $35 and $30.50, after they returned from the training. The city’s public safety commissioner got offended, and brought the matter up at a city council meeting earlier this week.

“I think it’s a slap in the face to Benton taxpayers to ask them to pay for your meals plus tip at Hooters,” the public safety commissioner, Bob Burnett, told The Southern Illinoisian newspaper. “I’m not overly religious but I do feel an obligation to the people of Benton to spend their money wisely.”

The council voted 3 to 2 against reimbursing the expenses.

But the restaurant chain is pushing back. The company told the newspaper that they would cater a lunch for the entire Benton fire department.

“Denying anyone of delicious wings is just plain wrong,” a company spokeswoman said.

It’s not the first time the chain — delightfully tacky, yet unrefined — has waded into city politics. Last month, the chain said it would refuse to serve now-former San Diego mayor Bob Filner (D) after more than a dozen women accused him of improper behavior.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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