Trump rally organizers pay Iowa city $1,425 for EMS services after newspaper publishes article
A $10K bill for police expenses remains outstanding, the Sioux City finance director said
By Dolly Butz
Sioux City Journal
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The day after The Journal published a story detailing the wrangling a city attorney engaged in to get a $5,000 rental payment for former President Donald Trump’s Nov. 3 rally at Sioux Gateway Airport, event organizers paid a bill for standby emergency medical services.
Sioux City Finance Director Teresa Fitch told The Journal $1,425 billed for EMS services was paid Thursday by Event Strategies, Inc., a Washington D.C.-based event management and production company.
Sioux City Fire Rescue Director Jim Haden told The Journal on Dec. 2 that the city had not yet been paid $1,425 for EMS standby. The invoice, dated and due Nov. 2, 2022, was submitted to Event Strategies, Inc. for payment of those services.
The Journal obtained the invoice and 136 pages of emails, which show that a city attorney went back and forth with Event Strategies, Inc. in the days leading up to the rally in an effort to get Save America to sign off on a venue use agreement and pay the city a $5,000 rental fee.
Save America, a leadership political action committee (PAC) created by Trump, rented several parking lots from the city for the rally, which was intended to bolster the campaigns of Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Assistant City Attorney Amber Hegarty sent emails to representatives of Event Strategies, Inc. on Oct. 27 and 28, as well as Nov. 1 and 2, seeking a wire transfer of $5,000 as required by the original venue use agreement.
In an Oct. 28 email, Hegarty wrote that city staff would not be available to meet with representatives of the company in person or via conference call, since the city had not received the $5,000 wire transfer or a certificate of insurance, which was to be provided before the start of the agreement.
“Until the COI is received, no activity may occur on city property, other than any walk-throughs you have scheduled with Hawthorne Aviation,” she wrote.
In a Nov. 2 email, Hegarty stated she had not received a signed contract for the rental of lots 2, 3, 4 and 7 or payment.
“You will not be allowed access to those lots until the contract is returned signed and we receive the agreed upon payment,” she wrote.
The “outstanding issues” regarding the administrative costs and parking appeared to have been finalized the afternoon of Nov. 2, the day before the rally.
Sioux City police officers staffing the rally were to be paid from the uniform and investigative bureaus’ overtime budgets, which the United States Secret Service would reimburse, an administrative assistant for the police department wrote in one of the emails.
More than 100 rally-goers were in line to get in by 9 a.m. on Nov. 3, although attendees weren’t allowed to enter the venue until after 2 p.m. Trump, who took the stage between 7:30 and 8 p.m., spoke for over 70 minutes. Less than two weeks after the event, Trump announced his 2024 White House bid.
Police expenses for the rally totaled $10,002.38, according to City Finance Director Teresa Fitch. She told The Journal Tuesday, “The city has not received any reimbursement to date for these expenses.”
Fitch said Friday, “The city has not received reimbursement for the $10,002.38 related to the police expense.” She said an invoice has been issued and the payment due date is Jan. 9, 2023.
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