This story has been updated to include emailed statements from the governor’s spokesman.
SANTA FE (KRQE) — Newly released audio recordings from police who responded to a rowdy, late-night after party involving New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez reveal new details about the raucous night and raise questions about the governor’s account of the party.
In a recording captured by Santa Fe police Sgt. Anthony Tapia’s belt recorder at around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 13, the governor can be heard talking to both the officer and a security guard from the four-star Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe.
Governor Martinez tells the pair that the room she had been in, which was the subject of a noise complaint, had been quiet for two hours.
The security guard tells both the governor and the police sergeant that he had been to the room 15 minutes earlier and “I personally heard how loud it was.”
The governor disagrees: “Five hours ago, there was somebody that we said, ‘Get out of the room. Do not be doing what you’re doing.’ There were bottles being thrown over. We said, ‘Get the hell out and stop.'”
That remark stands in contrast to a statement issued by the Governor’s Office on Friday.
“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.”
KRQE wanted to clarify these discrepancies, but when a crew approached Gov. Martinez after a press event on Tuesday she was ushered away quickly as one of her guys reached back to slam a door shut in front of a news photographer.
The governor’s spokesman, Chris Sanchez, said he would only be answering questions through statements via email.
In an email, Sanchez insisted there were no bottles thrown. Despite the governor’s use of the word “we” as she described a rowdy bottle-thrower being kicked out of the room, Sanchez said the governor was not present when earlier complaints were made.
Later in the recording, the governor tells the security guard and the police sergeant that no bottles had been thrown from the balcony during her past two hours in the room.
As Sgt. Tapia steps aside to talk to a woman who was with Martinez, the governor continues to plead her case with the hotel security guard. The guard explains that while earlier complaints to hotel staff involved throwing bottles from the room’s balcony, the most recent complaint was that Martinez and those in her room were being too loud.
The security guard says guests had complained about music, which stopped when there had been a pizza delivery, and then complained about loud talking.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” the governor says on the tape, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know that we could not talk in our room.”
As the security guard begins to explain, the woman who was with Martinez is told by Sgt. Tapia to go back up to the room while he sees if he can resolve the situation.
Martinez isn’t heard again on the recording.
Then the sergeant begins talking to the security guard. “Obviously we’re not going to be able to move her,” he says, “What can we do to resolve this?”
The security guard isn’t sure. “I can tell that she’s…”
“Inebriated,” Sgt. Tapia offers.
“Yes,” the guard says.
In an email, Sanchez, the governor’s spokesman, said Martinez had “about one” drink on the night in question. Sanchez equated that with Martinez’s statement on Friday that she thought her husband had brought her a cocktail late in the night.
As the recording continues, the police sergeant leaves his business card and tells the security guard to call his cell phone if there are further complaints.
The guard adds, “Also, I don’t believe it’s only six people in there. There’s quite a few people in there.”
Sgt. Tapia says he’ll try to get a hold of the governor’s security detail if there are any more issues.
“Obviously, it’s not going to be a very, um…” Tapia begins.
“An easy process?” the guard asks.
“Yeah,” Tapia responds.
Santa Fe police did make a sweep outside of the hotel and found no evidence of broken bottles.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas, who oversees the officers working the governor’s security detail, told KRQE News 13’s Kim Holland that he’s assessing what role the one officer who was with the governor at that time had in handling the situation.
Kassetas said the officer, an acting lieutenant, was in the hotel lobby while the governor was talking to others as the situation developed.
“State police did not give any orders to clean up anything and the officer was not aware anyone was throwing beer bottles,” Kassetas said.
Martinez apologized for the conduct of her staff the night of the holiday party. Her spokesman said she plans to address the incident with her staff, which could include disciplinary action.