Server Fired for Shooting Viral Video of Maskless Governor

Nebraska bar employee recorded video of Pete Ricketts on election night
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2020 9:30 AM CST
Server Fired After Filming Governor's 'Slap in the Face'
In this Sept. 30, 2020, file photo, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks during a news conference in Lincoln, Neb.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik File)

A server at an Omaha-area sports bar has been fired after a viral video she shot showed Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts celebrating a fellow Republican's win on election night. Per the Lincoln Journal Star, the 25-year-old employee can be heard in the Nov. 3 clip—which shows a maskless Ricketts gathered with others at DJ's Dugout at a party for state Senator-elect Rita Sanders—mocking him from across the room, where he couldn't hear her. "Where's your mask, Pete? What are you doing, Pete? We're in a pandemic, Pete," the worker, IDed by the Washington Post as Karina Montanez, says in the clip. Bar management says Montanez was canned for violating the venue's cellphone and social media policy. State Sen. Megan Hunt also posted content from Ricketts' election night out, showing him posing for a picture at the bar with 21 other people, none of them wearing masks.

"It was a slap in the face," Montanez tells the Post. "You're supposed to be taking care of us and you're out here acting like a celebrity." A Ricketts rep says the governor had a mask on when he went into the bar and when he left, and that he took it off only while seated, which is allowed, and temporarily for photos. Montanez, a single mom who has fibromyalgia, is now seeking help. "Since i just got fired for posting this tweet, if anyone would like to donate to this lovely single mama, I'll be posting my venmo and cashapp shortly," she posted, adding her handles soon after. Meanwhile, Ricketts—who has been urging residents to stay home when possible but is against a mask mandate—is quarantined with his wife till Sunday due to exposure to COVID during a small dinner at his home. (More Pete Ricketts stories.)

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