No ID? Local pizza restaurant says no pie for peeved Lemoore council member

By Ed Martin, Editor

A local pizza restaurant and its staff recently suffered the wrath of former Mayor Billy Siegel, who according to the restaurant’s general manager, when refused a pizza because he failed to provide identification, promptly left, but not before arguing with her, and then showing her his middle finger.

Fatte Albert’s General Manager Lacey Santos, who manages the Lemoore and Hanford restaurants, told The Leader she was shocked at the former mayor’s behavior when he ordered a pizza on Nov. 24. Santos said he ordered the pizza from a young clerk and wanted to pay for it with a credit card. When asked for identification he indicated that he didn’t have any. According to Santos it’s the store’s policy to ask for photo ID when using a credit card. She said it was for the customers’ safety as well as the safety of the store.

“He came in and ordered a pizza,” Santos said, “and he didn’t have an ID. I told him we couldn’t sell him a pizza. He said ‘don’t you know who I am’ and he asked us to look at his Facebook page.”  The clerk went to Santos and asked her if she knew Siegel’s identity, which she didn’t.

Santos said the restaurant doesn’t accept social media sources as acceptable identification. She says it has happened before with customers, but she said they usually go out to their car and get an ID.

Santos also told The Leader that Siegel told her that he owned several businesses and that everyone should know who he is. Finally, when Santos remained firm and said she wouldn’t sell him the pizza, “he said ‘okay’ and then gave me the bird and walked out.”

She said that when he walked out she thanked him and told him to have a nice day.

“When I found out he was a councilman, it blew me away that someone like him did what he did,” said Santos. “He acted like a child and was very unprofessional. I couldn’t believe he represented the community and did something like this. It literally blew my mind.”

Santos said Fatte Albert’s always requires an ID.  The restaurant requires a matching face to the card. “It’s our policy.”

Santos immediately called owner Wendy Raygoza and told her of the incident. “She told me I did the right thing,” Santos Said. Raygoza owns the restaurants with Steve Gonzalez. There are three Fatte Alberts in Kings County, including the Lemoore store.

Santos has been with Fatte Albert’s for six years as a manager and currently is the general manager of the stores in Lemoore and Hanford. She’s worked in Lemoore for nearly five years. Santos told me that at a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 2, she was told that City Manager Jeff Laws apologized to the owners for the incident.

The ribbon cutting was for the recent remodeling the store did following a recent accident that damaged to the store’s entrance. Formerly a take-out only store, the remodeling included new ovens and sit-down dining.

Laws, when contacted by The Leader, confirmed that he did talk to the owner but only to find out what happened. He did not confirm or deny whether he apologized to anyone. The Leader attempted to contact the owners but they were on vacation.

The Leader also attempted to contact Siegel, but he did not respond, nor did Mayor Lois Wynne.

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