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City of Albuquerque refers $211K Trump campaign bill to collection agency

The city of Albuquerque has referred a $211,175.94 bill for former President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE’s reelection campaign rally in 2019 to a professional debt collection agency.

The outstanding invoice has remained unpaid since the event in nearby Rio Rancho. City officials covered the security costs of the then-president’s stay at a downtown Albuquerque hotel, The Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday.

The six-figure tab includes the costs of blocking off City Hall and parts of downtown, as well as overtime pay for police officers.

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The city previously said that it incurred $7,102 in costs for barricades during Trump’s visit and $132,831 in paid time off for city employees. It also said assistance from the Albuquerque Police Department provided during Trump’s campaign visit amounted to $71,242. 

A spokeswoman for the city of Rio Rancho — where Trump actually hosted the rally — said that the campaign “made it clear that they would not reimburse the City for those ancillary costs that occurred outside of the event.” The campaign has also not paid Rio Rancho the $239,475 associated with his visit.

Bernalillo County, which also invoiced Trump for the 2019 visit, told the newspaper that the county ultimately wrote off the $139,183.52 unpaid bill as a “bad debt.”

“In my mind, he owes us a lot more because there was about a day and a half where we couldn’t even function as a city,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (D) said during an appearance on “The Daily Show” this week.

Lorena Sanchez, a spokesperson for the city, told the Albuquerque Journal that officials have been attempting to collect payment for months, even mailing the bill to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida this month. 

Keller discussed how all of the city’s attempts to contact Trump and his campaign have reportedly been ignored.

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“He [Trump] should be getting these annoying voicemails that, like, we get usually from scam companies where it’s like ‘You owe debts,' ” Keller told Jordan Klepper, a correspondent for the Comedy Central TV show. “I think Mar-a-Lago is now getting those calls.”

It is a standard process for the city to send bills that are 61 to 90 days old to collections agencies. Sanchez told the newspaper that there are currently 2,517 city invoices in collections.

Michael Glassner, the then-chief operating officer of Trump’s campaign, told The Hill in 2019 that “it is the U.S. Secret Service, not the campaign, which coordinates with local law enforcement.”

“The campaign itself does not contract with local governments for police involvement. All billing inquiries should always go to the Secret Service,” he said.

The Hill has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.

Albuquerque is not the only city attempting to collect outstanding debts from the Trump campaign. City officials in El Paso, Texas, said in November that they are hiring legal counsel in their fight to obtain more than half a million dollars stemming from a February 2019 rally.