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Westport Denied Reimbursement For Obama Visit

WESTPORT, Conn. – The Democratic National Committee will not help the town cover the costs it incurred during President Barack Obama’s non-public visit to Westport on Aug. 6, Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said Monday.

Joseloff said the DNC denied his request seeking reimbursement for the almost $15,000 the town spent on police and fire department overtime when Obama landed at Sherwood Island State Park to attend a fundraiser in Stamford and a $35,800-per-person dinner at the Beachside Avenue home of resident and movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

“Please note that as a private organization, the DNC did not participate in security, traffic control, fire or EMS planning,” Amada Howe, chief operating officer of the DNC, wrote in an Aug. 14 letter to Joseloff. “All such decisions, including their impact on costs incurred by federal, state or local governments are exclusively within the control of the appropriate government officials.”

During the president’s visit, Sherwood Island State Park was closed all day, there were temporary road closures on Sherwood Island Connector, Nyala Farms Road, Greens Farms Road and nearby areas, and Burying Hill Beach, which is next to Weinstein’s home, was also closed.

The town, Joseloff said, spent $14,812 in police and fire overtime. A request for reimbursement was also sent to Obama for America, the president’s campaign, and to Weinstein, neither of which Joseloff has heard back from.

“I didn’t expect that we would get repayment, but it was worthwhile to ask,” Joseloff said in a statement.

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