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RNC Staffer Fired Over 'Bondage Club' Tab Had Been Warned Ahead of Time

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FILE: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele (AP)

The Republican National Committee staffer who was fired Monday for coordinating the use of donor money to pay the $2,000 tab at a California strip club was warned ahead of time that the party would not cover such expenses, the RNC chief of staff said in a letter to members. 

Hotline On Call reported Tuesday that the staff member is Allison Meyers, former director of the RNC's "Young Eagles" program. 

The bill for a trip to the Voyeur West Hollywood -- a bondage-themed nightclub where topless dancers imitate lesbian sex -- showed up on a monthly disclosure report to the Federal Election Commission

RNC Chief of Staff Ken McKay wrote in a letter Tuesday that the donor who was reimbursed for the expense, Erik Brown, has "verbally agreed" to repay the money to the national party. 

But it was the RNC staff member who submitted the original request for the reimbursement who got in trouble with the RNC. 

McKay said in the letter that the staff member "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 wrote. 

The RNC has tried to distance itself from the club visit. 

McKay said "a group of individuals" attended the club after a "Young Eagles" donor event in Los Angeles, but that "this was not an RNC sanctioned event and was not associated in any way with any RNC official event." 

Spokesman Doug Heye also rejected claims that committee Chairman Michael Steele was at the strip club and knew about the expenditure. 

"Nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location acceptable," he added. 

The FEC report detailing the reimbursement also showed that the RNC spent tens of thousands on hotels, private planes and limousines. 

The revelations have not played well at a time when many Americans are struggling under the weight of the global financial crisis -- with even conservative groups lashing out at the RNC. 

Penny Nance, from Concerned Women for America, asked: "Did they really agree to reimburse nearly $2,000 for a bondage-themed nightclub?" 

She added: "Why would a staffer believe that this is acceptable, and has this kind of thing been approved in the past?" 

The RNC moved to reassure supporters. 

"We recognize the difficulty this incident has caused and assure our members and supporters that any necessary and proper remediation is being implemented immediately," the spokesman said. 

"It is unfortunate that a loyal GOP donor who has recruited other donors became involved in this incident while merely trying to help what turned out to be the improper request of a staffer who is no longer with the committee." 

Steele's spending decisions as chairman have previously angered some donors, although he has strenuously hit back at any criticism. 

But adding fuel to the fire, the political Web site The Daily Caller reported that he had discussed having the GOP buy a private jet, or a share of a private jet, for his personal use. 

NewsCore contributed to this report.