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Governor’s burger bill causes beef

SANTA FE – Was it all a big nothing burger?

Gov. Susana Martinez walked out of a local restaurant without paying her bill Wednesday, but her office said it was a misunderstanding.

Gov. Susana Martinez

Gov. Susana Martinez

Robert Gonzales, general manager of Five Star Burgers at the DeVargas Center mall, said the governor came into the restaurant with a man, who her office later said was a member of her security detail, around 1 p.m., and ordered a bison burger and fried green beans to go that ran up a tab of about $14 or $15.

“I gave her her food and she turned around and walked out, and I didn’t find any money, not even a tip,” Gonzales said. “I watched her crumple it (the tab) up and throw it in the garbage.”

The Governor’s Office issued a statement Wednesday evening.

“This is a supersized nothing-burger,” said Martinez spokesman Joseph Cueto. “The governor pays for her meals, including this one, and attempting to exploit an obviously honest misunderstanding just demonstrates how petty our politics have become.”

Five Star’s Gonzales said the governor and the man with her waited at a vacant table while their order was being prepared.

“I didn’t recognize her right away because I’ve never seen her in person,” he said. “It dawned on me (who she was) when I asked what name to put the order under. She said it’s ‘Susana,’ and I apologized and said I didn’t recognize her.

“She said that’s OK. She was very nice and polite.”

Gonzales said the man who was with the governor paid his separate tab for his own order, but not for the governor’s food.