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Wallenda in dispute with Niagara Falls

July 21, 2012 at 1:27 AM   |   Comments

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., July 21 (UPI) -- Niagara Falls, N.Y. is trying to get Nik Wallenda to pay for police and fire overtime during his daring tightrope walk across Niagara Falls.

The city says it spent about $42,700 on overtime associated with the stunt, The New York Times reported. First Niagara Bank put up $17,500 to cover some of the costs and the city wants Wallenda to pay the balance.

A special law passed by the New York State legislature to allow Wallenda to make the walk also required him to reimburse the government for any reasonable and necessary costs. Walendas lawyer, John Bartolomei, said his client has paid the state $200,000 for expenses involving the state park where he started on the U.S. side of the falls.

Bartolomei said the city spent money on "exploitation of the event."

"They claim to be broke all the time," Bartolomei said of Mayor Paul Dyster and other Niagara Falls officials. "But don't put it on Nik Wallenda's shoulders. All he did was good things. He got the city tens of millions of free worldwide advertising."

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