Providence, Rhode Island, has been ordered to pay more than $20,000 in legal fees racked up by a saxophone player who challenged its policies on street performers.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island filed a lawsuit last year on behalf of Manuel Pombo, alleging Providence violated his right to free speech by arresting him for playing his saxophone on a public sidewalk. A settlement reached in January allows Pombo to perform on public property and solicit donations, called busking.
The Providence Journal reports lawyers for the ACLU were seeking nearly $28,000 in legal fees. The city filed a motion contesting that amount. A federal magistrate ordered payment of nearly $22,000.
A spokesman for Democratic Mayor Jorge Elorza hasn’t returned an email seeking comment.