By Andrew Caplan
Alachua County has sent the University of Florida a $300,000 bill asking for reimbursement for costs it incurred during the Richard Spencer event held on campus Oct. 19.
A letter and invoice of $302,184 was sent from County Commissioner Lee Pinkoson to UF President Kent Fuchs and dated Jan. 9. The county previously voted to send the university the bill at its Dec. 12 meeting.
“In the aftermath of the Richard Spencer private event, we are seeking reimbursement for the public safety resources requested by the University and provided by Alachua County,” Pinkoson wrote.
On Oct. 19, Spencer, a white nationalist and leader in the alt-right movement, attended UF to give a speech with members of hisNational Policy Institute, an organizaton dedicated to preserving white or European heritage. UF initially canceled the event, but later rescheduled it after being threatened with a lawsuit.
County spokesman Mark Sexton said the county has already reimbursed the sheriff’s office approximately $260,000 for its services.
UF officials previously said the university estimated it would spend at least $600,000 on the event, but hasn’t supplied records to support its claim.
UF has denied multiple requests made by The Sun for costs and records for the event, citing a state law exemption.
In December, UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said in an email that because Gov. Rick Scott declared the event a “state of emergency,” the university is exempt from supplying such records.
The city of Gainesville is expected to release its costs for the event at an upcoming meeting. City Manager Anthony Lyons said Wednesday evening he doesn’t yet know the cost.