Former Congressman Robert Francis O'Rourke's presidential campaign has yet to pay El Paso police officers nearly $21,000 for the 675 hours of overtime they put in during his campaign launch on March 30, local TV station KTSM reports.
So far, taxpayers have been footing the bill, and the city of El Paso warns that the O'Rourke campaign could owe more if it does not pay by the May 24 deadline.
"They have to come and pay the bill. There is a fee assessed if they don't pay by a certain amount of time, but that's regulated by the state. So we will email and make phone calls to remind them that," Laura Cruz-Acosta, an El Paso city official told KTSM.
According to Cruz-Acosta, the city has already been in communication with the O'Rourke campaign. KTSM has also reached out to the O'Rourke campaign, but has not received a response.
When O'Rourke launched his campaign, he saw one of the most successful fundraising spurts on his first day, raising $6.1 million in the first 24 hours. O'Rourke beat Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) $5.9 million, the record at the time.
"In just 24 hours, Americans across this country came together to prove that it is possible to run a true grassroots campaign for president—a campaign by all of us, for all of us, that answers not to the PACs, corporations, and special interests but to the people," O’Rourke said in a statement after his success.
Since launching, however, O'Rourke's star has faded, as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg gained name recognition and 2020 Democratic front runner Joe Biden entered the race. O'Rourke rebooted his campaign earlier this week, with an appearance on ABC The View, where he said that his early campaign—including a Vanity Fair cover story where he said he "born to run"—"reinforced" perceptions of privilege.
"[I] was attempting to say that I felt that my calling was in public service. No one is born to be President of the United States of America—least of all me," he said.