New Mexico governor Susanna Martinez apologized Saturday for her behavior and that of her staffers at a boisterous holiday party at a high-end Santa Fe hotel that led to a call to the police.
“I want to apologize for the conduct of my staff on the night of our holiday party,” Martinez told the Albuquerque Journal. “There apparently was a party in a hotel room earlier in the night that was disruptive. None of that should have happened, and I was not aware of the extent of the ruckus and the behavior until just recently.
The Republican governor told the paper she might discipline the staffers involved in the incident, but she didn’t provide any details about what disciplinary measures she would take.
Chris Sanchez, spokesman for Martinez told the Albuquerque Journal that Martinez had about one cocktail, despite her saying she and her companions, including a disabled sister, were only having pizza and drinking cokes. Sanchez said she was not intoxicated.
The audio tapes between Martinez and police were released Friday. Martinez’s critics blasted her alleged actions at the holiday party.
“We can listen as an obviously drunk Susana Martinez spends six minutes on berating public safety workers trying to keep the peace,” charged Pat Davis, a spokesman for ProgressNow New Mexico, which calls itself “New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy organization.”
Fox News has confirmed Friday with Santa Fe police that the governor, who just handily won a second term in office, and was elected in November to head the Republican Governors Association, sounded intoxicated when the calls were made early Sunday morning.
A statement from her office said Martinez was hosting her annual staff holiday party at the downtown hotel’s ballroom Saturday night. Some 200 people attended; there was a live band and dancing.
After the party, Martinez and staff helped clean up and retired to a staffer’s hotel room to eat pizza, the statement said.
“Unbeknownst to the governor, there had been complaints about noise and someone throwing what turned out to be snowballs from the balcony of that room earlier in the night while the governor was in the ballroom,” said Sanchez.
Martinez learned about the complaints and then went downstairs to assure hotel staff that those who caused the disturbance had left long ago, Sanchez said.
ProgressNow New Mexico referred to the audio posted by the news website The NM Political Report. There are three clips, beginning with the woman at the front desk of the hotel complaining to police about the party.
“We have guests that have been partying in the room, they’ve been warned already. They still haven’t calmed down and they were told to leave,” said the woman at the front desk, who then asked the officers to escort the revelers off the property.
She also said people were throwing bottles off the balcony earlier in the evening and “they were warned numerous times.” The police said they would respond.
The next clip was a call-back to the dispatcher from the hotel. The front desk put a woman on the phone who said she was the governor and demanded to know why the cops were called and by whom. The dispatcher would not say where the initial complaint came from, but said it was about the loud noise coming from the room.
The woman who said she was Martinez balked. “So we’re sitting in there, I’m the governor of the state of New Mexico, and we’re in there with my sister, who’s disabled, along with about six other people who are having pizza.” She added at another point that they were “drinking cokes.”
She continued to demand the name of the complainant, saying, “It’s public record. Give it to me.”
When she got nowhere with the dispatcher, he put her on hold to get a supervisor. During that time, she asked the front desk to give her information about the complaint. She was told a guest complained. “What room?” the woman who said she was Martinez asked.
On the phone with the supervisor, she insisted her group was not rowdy. As for the allegation that bottles were thrown from the balcony, she responded that no one is throwing bottles off the balcony “and if there were, it was about six hours ago.”
Before hanging up she told the supervisor, “there is no reason for your officers to be here. You can call them off.”
There was no police report filed for the incident. Santa Fe city spokesman Matt Ross said no report was filed because there wasn’t a formal police investigation. Ross also said there was no evidence people were throwing beer bottles off the balcony.
Fox News’ William Lajeunesse and the Associated Press contributed to this report