The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners intends to crack down on executives that spend port money improperly, including the maritime director who allegedly spent $4,500 to entertain industry executives at a Houston strip club.
Oakland board members on Monday will gather more information on the incident that allegedly took place in 2008. The board is scheduled to review the matter further at its regularly scheduled commission meeting Thursday.
The allegation involving James Kwon, maritime director, is part of a larger effort to strengthen the port’s expense reimbursement policies and to implement procedures to prevent the improper expenditure of port funds.
Oakland developed a policy in 2010 related to port-issued purchasing cards, and its audit division initiated an audit earlier this year of travel and entertainment policies.
The incident involving Kwon was recently revealed. The bill submitted in 2008 to the port for reimbursement was for drinks and dinner at D. Houston Inc., which is the corporate name for Treasures Strip Club in Houston, the port stated in a release.
“The Board of Port Commissioners takes this matter very seriously and will take whatever action is required to improve our financial oversight to ensure expenditures like this don’t occur in the future,” said Gilda Gonzales, president of the Oakland board.