Campus Sued Over Security Cost for Speaker’s Visit
A new lawsuit has been filed against the University of Cincinnati, accusing the school of charging excessive security fees during the scheduled visit of white supremacist Richard Spencer.
According to a report in Cinncinnati.com, the lawsuit filed in federal court accuses University of Cincinnati President Neville Pinto of charging an "unconstitutional security fee" in order to rent the room for the speech. The lawsuit says that Pinto deliberately violated Cameron Padgett's right to free speech by charging the fee.
Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Cincinnati during the University's spring break in March in Zimmer Auditorium.
The lawsuit states that on Dec. 15, Padgett's legal team learned they would have to pay a $500 rental fee and $10,833 in security costs and fees.
In a statement, university spokesman Greg Vehr said Spencer must pay a rental and security fee, like other non-sponsored speakers. "As a state institution, and as a matter of principle, we adhere to the foundational rights embedded in the First Amendment. This includes protecting the right to free speech. We have stood by this principle all along and will continue to do so," the statement said. "However, Spencer was not invited or sponsored by any member of the university community, and like other non-sponsored speakers, he must pay a fee to rent university space. This includes a security fee."