SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An annual retreat staged in California by an elite club that has included powerful U.S. political and business leaders is facing scrutiny for excluding women.
The criticism of the Bohemian Club comes after female supervisors from Sonoma County questioned whether they should allow sheriff's deputies to provide security for the event, which the supervisors say discriminates against women.
The annual retreat takes place over 18 days in July in a private campground in Monte Rio.
The retreat and club itself have long been shrouded in secrecy and intrigue.
County supervisors have approved the security contract for the past 14 years. But this time, they asked county lawyers to study whether the event is discriminatory before they make a decision, expected Tuesday.
Founded by journalists and artists in 1872, the club grew to include presidents such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan as well as various FBI and CIA directors and titans of industry.
Representatives from Singer Associates, a public relations firm that represents the Bohemian Club, did not respond to calls seeking comment.
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