After a careful analysis of federal campaign disclosures and municipal invoices as well as interviews of more than 60 public officials, Center for Public Integrity disclosed that presidential campaigns have failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding bills for the police protection provided during the campaign events.
It is possible that Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton have forgotten about the rallies they held last year in Green Bay, Wisconsin but officials still remember the police protection bills amounting to $24,000. According to the mayor’s chief of staff, Celestine Jeffreys, Green Bay appreciates and feels honored that the candidates came to their place but they will be more pleased if debts are honored and paid.
In their communications with local governments, presidential campaigns have asserted that are not responsible for the costs of police protection but local police found themselves in the middle of numerous unruly and even violent Trump rallies with the presidential candidate himself directing security to remove protesters and hecklers.
From the municipal billing records, Center for Public Integrity found out the Trump’s campaign alone failed to pay $204,000 worth of police protection-related invoices. In spite of demand letters and collection notices, all the presidential campaigns that included Trump’s, Sanders’ and Clinton’s did not acknowledge that they owe the cities and law enforcement agencies more than $449,409.
Different approaches have made it relatively difficult to determine how much of the security-related bills were sent to the major presidential hopefuls since they started to tour the nation in earnest. On the other hand, collection efforts are rather complicated in as much as local officials cannot force the campaigns to make payments without formal contractual agreements. Mayor John McNally of Youngstown, Ohio said that since cities across America provided protection at a cost, it is only right that they receive reimbursement.
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