U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is taking some heat after she walked without a mask through an Albany-area restaurant, ignoring a sign posted at an entrance to the business.

According to the Albany Times Union, Innovo Kitchen owner John LaPosta on Friday was told by a manager of the Latham eatery that Gillibrand "blew past her and (she) didn’t even have a moment to ask her to put her mask on."

LaPosta posted a video of the maskless Gillibrand on the restaurant's Instagram feed.

The business operator said he was infuriated by the senator's actions. LaPosta said he was angry for his staff "who are in masks eight or nine hours a day."

LaPosta noted the mask requirement is a mandate issued by Governor Kathy Hochul.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wore a mask as she was being introduced at a Binghamton news conference on March 15, 2021. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wore a mask as she was being introduced at a Binghamton news conference on March 15, 2021. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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On Monday morning, Innovo Kitchen reported Gillibrand "called personally to apologize to the staff and the restaurant for the position she put us in during her visit."

In a statement posted on Facebook, the restaurant said Gillibrand "completely owned the mistake and understood and agreed with our position."

The statement also said: "For those of you who commented about us blindly following government /state/local rules please know we blindly follow nothing. We have been very vocal about the recent mask mandate being illogical and we still feel that way, however we own a small licensed business in NYS and employ 60 people. With that comes a responsibility to follow the rules to keep those licenses."

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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