House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vacationed on the Big Island of Hawaii this holiday season, spending according to ‘West Hawaii Today’ $10,000 or more a night for the Presidential Suite at the Hualalai resort.

While her private stay likely boosted Hawaii’s tourism revenues, Pelosi was escorted by local police officers, and that expense was charged to local taxpayers.

According to a letter from the Hawaii County Police Department sent in response to an inquiry from Hawaii Reporter, Pelosi’s visit cost Hawaii county taxpayers more than $21,000.

The county of Hawaii would not release the number of police officers escorting Pelosi, how many hours they dedicated to Pelosi’s security detail, or whether they were being pulled from other duties, referring those questions to Brendan Daly of the U.S. Capitol Police. However, Daly did not provide any information to Hawaii Reporter, except to say Pelosi’s detail is required.

Pelosi’ office also refused to answer information regarding her trip to Hawaii: “For security reasons, I cannot disclose information regarding her travel dates and any security arrangements mandated by the House Sergeant at Arms,” says Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill.

Pelosi’s visits comes at a time when the county mayor and his department heads are looking for ways to cut back on expenses because of shrinking tax revenues and the proposed plan by Gov. Linda Lingle to take all four counties’ share of the visitor tax to balance the state budget.

The county police department says it will not seek federal reimbursement for this expense.

“Nancy Pelosi police escort expense centered”

‘Reach Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman at mailto:Malia@hawaiireporter.com/’

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