Anonymous donor pledges to cover Pence costs to Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office

Vice President Mike Pence arrives at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport on Monday, July 22, 2019. He came to Aspen for a fundraiser and was expected to depart on Tuesday. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Prompted by the local Republican Party, an anonymous donor has stepped up to pay for local law enforcement’s overtime security costs associated with the vice president’s visit to Aspen last week.

That’s according to Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, who said an official with Pitkin County Republicans told him Saturday they found a person who volunteered to pay the overtime bill “but wants complete anonymity,” he said.

“They won’t tell me who’s paying,” DiSalvo said Monday. “It’s not the person who hosted the party.”

DiSalvo said he still doesn’t know the name of the Caribou Club member who hosted Vice President Mike Pence on July 22 for a private, $35,000-per-couple fundraiser at the private club in downtown Aspen.

Pitkin County Republicans Chair Anna Zane initially told DiSalvo about the anonymous donor Friday night and confirmed payment would happen Saturday, he said. DiSalvo said he submitted an approximately $18,500 invoice to Zane, which covers all the law enforcement, public works and fire personnel who played a part in Pence’s security. He said Monday he hasn’t yet received the money.

DiSalvo initially estimated the overtime costs as about $24,500, though chiefs of the Aspen Police Department and the Snowmass Village Police Department said they didn’t want to be reimbursed for their officers’ overtime, so those amounts were subtracted from the total reimbursement, DiSalvo said.

Zane did not return a phone message Monday seeking comment about the reimbursement.

Pence flew in to Aspen’s airport the afternoon of July 22, and later attended the Caribou Club fundraiser for about an hour and a half. He stayed the night at the Limelight Hotel in Snowmass Village, attended a meeting of the Republican Governors Association at the St. Regis on July 23 in the morning, and left later the same morning.

DiSalvo said he heard about 35 couples attended the fundraiser, which benefitted President Donald Trump’s reelection committee and the Republican National Committee.