Zahra Tayeb

Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • A restaurant manager said he caught Senator Kirsten Gillibrand maskless on the premises.
  • John La Posta expressed his frustration after she ignored the state’s mask mandate. 
  • “I guess Senator Gillibrand thinks […] she is special and above the rules,” he said in a post.  

A restaurant owner expressed his frustration after he caught New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand failing to comply with the state mask mandate. 

Since December 10, masks have been required in all indoor public places in New York unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.

John La Posta, the owner of Innovo Kitchen in Latham, said Gillibrand hurried past a large sign that read “masks required to enter.” 

Speaking to New York Post on Saturday, La Posta said his staff didn’t have the chance to ask her to wear a mask as she moved swiftly past them toward the tables. 

Innovo Kitchen upholds a strict mask policy according to its website, where it states that all staff must wear them and that the same applies to customers whenever they are not seated. 

“Gillibrand is part of the system that put the mask mandate in place. She thinks she’s above the law,” La Posta told The Post.

He said the incident was recorded by a surveillance camera, which he later posted to Instagram

“The problem with NY politics in a nut shell. My Senator blowing past my manager before she can even ask her to put a mask on,” La Post wrote on the post. 

He added: “I guess Senator Gillibrand thinks that the Governor is wrong or she is special and above the rules.”

Innovo Kitchen did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

In a statement issued to Fox News, Gillibrand said: “We all need to do our part to help stop the spread of Omicron and that means following state and local guidance. That includes me and I will do better going forward.”

Across New York City, COVID-19 cases are spreading rapidly. In December, the city recorded more than 270,000 positive cases amid a surge of the Omicron variant, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

This month, New York reported more than 11,500 COVID-19 hospitalizations, which is close to a record high. But experts cautioned that the latest figures include people who were admitted to the hospital for conditions unrelated to COVID-19, then later diagnosed with the disease.