A New York state employee who name-dropped Governor Andrew Cuomo after becoming enraged that she had to sit near a baby on an airplane has been removed from her position, the state told reporters.
A now-viral video shows the tantrum that occurred on a February 6 flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Syracuse, NBC affiliate WGRZ reports.
The woman is seen arguing with a flight attendant, stating she "work(s) for the governor" and demanding a new seat, complaining that hers was next to a "crying baby." The mother of the 8-month-old baby, Marissa Rundell, filmed the whole incident, she says, after the woman started being rude. She is heard in the video assuring the woman her baby is not going to cry the whole time.
When the attendant tells the woman the airline can put her on the next flight, she's asked for her name. When provided, the angry woman retorts, "Thanks, Tabitha. You may not have a job tomorrow." WGRZ reports that the flight attendant then ordered the woman off the plane.
Reporters soon identified the woman as a program director from the office of the Council of the Arts, whose profile had been removed from the website. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the council told WGRZ it had removed an employee from its office pending an investigation into her conduct in the viral Facebook video.
It was reported that the spokesperson, Ronni Reich, did not identify the employee or respond when asked if the woman would be paid while on leave.
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"We were notified of this situation and have commenced an investigation," Reich said in a statement. "This employee has been removed from the office and placed on leave until further notice and until the inquiry is resolved.”
Delta also released a statement apologizing to the others on the plane.
"We ask that customers embrace civility and respect one another when flying Delta," it said. "This customer’s behavior toward a fellow customer on a flight from New York to Syracuse was not in keeping with those standards."