UPDATE: Updyke tweets about accusations against him
It didn't take long for Harvey Updyke to respond to The Plainsman's report that he has only paid $99 of the $796,731.98 he owes Auburn University.
Updyke took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to deny the report, even going as far as claiming that Auburn University is stealing his money.
Updyke was upset with Paul Finebaum as well and was going to call into the show before his attorney advised him against it.
Harvey Updyke owes $796,731.98 in restitution to Auburn University for poisoning the famous Oaks at Toomer's Corner.
Currently, he has paid $99 to the University.
According to April Brown of the Elmore County Clerk's Office in Wetumpka, Updyke made one payment of $100, with a $1 processing charge, and has not made a payment since.
Updyke was ordered by Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III on December 2013 to make monthly payments of $500. Citing substantial hardship, Updyke's attorney Margaret Brown requested the monthly payment be $50 instead of the $500, but the request was denied.
"Let's face it, he will never be able to pay off the entire debt he owes," said Clay Ogata of Auburn. "The fact he has only paid that little of an amount in almost a year is a joke."
Updyke served six months in prison, part of his sentence, and is currently on five years of supervised probation. One of the terms of the probation is making the monthly payments. If he fails to do so, he could have his probation revoked.
April Lyon of Auburn wonders if he is making any effort at all.
"I understand that he might have financial difficulties, but at some point he has to pay the price for his actions," Lyon said. "Paying just $99 over the course of nine months is him getting past the system."
In a statement after Updyke's release, attorney Andrew Stanley said, "He doesn't want to have to deal with this anymore. He wants to pay his money back and be done with the five years, and never be heard from again."
Despite this, Updyke has remained a constant presence on Twitter and recently made national news when he agreed to appear in a dunk tank at a charity event in Mobile. His appearance was canceled after organizers of the event claimed to have received death threats.
After construction and replacement of soil, the soil around Samford Park at Toomer's Corner was declared poison free for the first time in three years on May 2.
Future oak trees are scheduled to be planted in early 2015 and will grow in a high-tech environment that will maximize their chances of living, according to Auburn University's Office of Communications and Marketing.
"It was sad when they cut the old trees down but the new ones will bring so many great memories for years to come," Ogata said. "Hopefully I will be taking my kids there for years to come."
Efforts to contact both Updyke and attorney Andrew Stanley were unsuccessful.