MIAMI (CBS4) – A bartender at Nikki Beach night club on South Beach has been fired for drinking while at work after surveillance video being reviewed in the DUI case against another former employee showed the bartender violating company policy.
The latest termination comes four months after the hit and run crash in which 20-year-old Karlie Tomica, a former Nikki Beach employee, is accused of crashing into chef Stefano Riccioletti on Collins Avenue in the early morning hours of January 28th.
At 11:41 the night before, a blonde bartender, whose name has not been released, is seen on surveillance video pouring herself a drink and taking several sips.
CBS 4 News brought the video to the attention of Nikki Beach’s attorney.
The club is still in the process of reviewing all the video from that night, a spokesman told CBS 4’s Lauren Pastrana.
There are 32 cameras total.
“We do not review the footage on a daily basis as it would be physically impossible to do so, given the number of cameras and hours of footage generated therefrom,” attorney Richard Della Fera said in a written statement.
The video clip obtained by CBS 4 News shows the woman taking more than a dozen sips of a drink before the video runs out at about 2:30 a.m.
She has since been fired.
“When we have definitive evidence that an employee is drinking on the job, they are terminated,” Della Fera’s statement said. “Mere suspicion of an employee drinking on the job without definitive evidence results in a reprimand placed in the person’s file.”
Employees agree to follow this policy as indicated in the employee handbook, but some on South Beach said the punishment for this bartender is a bit harsh.
“I think anybody drinking on the job is a problem,” visitor Rob Frances said. “But if your job is to serve the drinks, then it shouldn’t be a problem because that’s what you do for a living.”
“It doesn’t really bother me,” Brian Lin said as he walked in front of Nikki Beach. “It’s part of the job I guess. You’re pouring drinks. People are going to buy you drinks.”
As for Tomica, a separate video clip showed her as she prepared to leave the bar that morning.
She stumbled at one point while carrying her backpack.
“Her losing her balance appears to be a miss step due to the weight of the backpack,” Della Fera wrote. “Nothing else in the video indicates any form of impairment.”
Tomica remains under house arrest charged with DUI manslaughter.
Police said her blood alcohol content the day of the crash was .225, about three times the legal limit.
Civil lawsuits filed against Nikki Beach allege an underage Tomica was drinking while at work.