(WILLARD, Mo.) Candidates running to represent the seventh district in the U.S. House of Representatives met tonight in their final forum ahead of the election. Democrat Scott Eckersley took the opportunity to ask Republican Billy Long about allegations regarding his behavior at the Metropolitan Grill in Springfield.
The allegations, alleged by Jennifer Case in a letter obtained by TFJ, were that, “On several occasions, [Long] and his friends would close down the grill after returning from Las Vegas and bring in strippers from a local strip club to entertain themselves. Nights like these involved gambling, strippers, and reports of inappropriate contact with staff and underage drinking by some staff.”
“If these things are accurate, would you support and call for a criminal investigation for folks to look at, on a law enforcement level, the activities and behaviors that are going on at the Metropolitan Grill right now,” Eckersley asked.
Long said Eckersley wasn’t sticking to the subject of the candidate questioning, which wann’t explicitly defined by the moderator, and denied the allegations.
“Number two, every allegation I’ve heard is 100% false, as far as my knowledge. Anything that goes on there is beyond my knowledge,” Long said. “It’s 100% false, internet rumor’s like I’ve faught against for the last 20 months in the campaign.”
Though Long denied knowing that those things went on, numerous others came forward late last week to reaffirm Case’s claims.
A young African-American man said, in an audio recording obtained by TFJ, that on one occasion, the restaurant was closed down t for a party, and “brown paper” was used to cover up the windows. He alleged the strippers were “young, young girls.” He said they were stripping “on the bar.”
Long has spent over $1,000 at the Springfield restaurant, and has received substantial campaign contributions from its owner.
A Long sold TFJ last week he told them he “didn’t go there after 9 P.M.”
Eckersley said the allegations raise a question of character.
Still, Case is the only one that has come forward placing Long in the restaurant during the parties.