Burlington, Vermont, Mayor Miro Weinberger said Wednesday that the city will not be taking Donald Trump to court over unpaid bills from an event the presumptive Republican presidential nominee held back in January.
"After careful investigation into the First Amendment and other legal considerations, we have come to the conclusion that it would be difficult to hold Donald Trump legally liable for the costs the City incurred to make his January rally in Burlington a safe and successful event," Weinberger said. "Thus, it would not be cost effective for the City to pursue collections remedies through the courts."
But the mayor reiterated that Trump's "failure to cooperate" with local law enforcement and lack of communiation with the public and ticketholders put "undue strain on the City's police and "unnecessarily hurt downtown businesses."
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Paying the invoice, Weinberger said, "remains the right and honorable thing for Mr. Trump to do."
The city sent the Trump campaign a bill for $8,500 on Feb. 1 for police and fire overtime costs associated with the Jan. 7 event at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.
Nearly 20,000 tickets were distributed even though the venue holds only 1,400 people. With thousands of ticket holders unable to get in, the city had to call in extra police officers for crowd control.
Weinberger praised Burlington Police for their handling of the event, preventing the local rally from resulting in "the kind of violence and chaos that have all too often accompanied his campaign events."