VIDEO: Blue Martini's own investigation clears staffers of drugging drinks

Video from NBC-2

Blue Martini

9114 Strada Place, Naples, FL

— There’s no need to suspect your servers, according to the Naples bar at the center of recent drugging complaints.

Blue Martini cleared staffers of any wrongdoing after conducting its own investigation into allegations of drugged drinks. The private investigator in the case, former Collier County Sheriff candidate Victor Ortino, suggested outside sources might be responsible for multiple reports of blacking out.

“There are indications that if someone was being drugged, that it was most likely an outside source,” he said.

One woman who filed a complaint said the news is frustrating and that investigators needed to do more.

“Right now they’re just kind of making it seem like it’s nothing,” said Holly Lee Kaleniecki, 52. “And it is, because I probably go out twice a month, and I haven’t been out since it happened. I’m just scared.”

Ortino, who said he is finishing his final report for Blue Martini management, declined to discuss his findings. He said he only investigated employees and will forward other relevant information to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office when he finishes his report.

The Sheriff’s Office has already received some information from the company, a spokeswoman said.

Blue Martini hired Ortino to test surfaces in the building for drugs, interview employees and test them for drugs, according to a press release. Staffers “of any suspect level” were given polygraph examinations. The release said security at the bar was beefed up and surveillance was expanded to 24 hours.

Asked if anything jumped out from the investigation, Byron Gardiner, a partner in Blue Martini, responded by e-mail, “Not really.”

“We continue to work with Collier County Sheriff’s Department investigators and thus far have failed to find any wrongdoing on the part of Blue Martini employees,” he added.

Since August 2009, close to 50 reports have been filed by Blue Martini customers who believe they were drugged while dining at the popular bar, in the Mercato shopping center. Some reported blacking out after as little as a single drink.

Kaleniecki consumed four drinks over four hours on her birthday in February, she said. She wasn’t on medication, she said, and she and friends ate several appetizers during the evening. Halfway through her last drink, an espresso martini, Kaleniecki suddenly had trouble standing up or speaking.

She said that regardless of who did it, someone put something in her drink.

“I just know that I was drugged,” Kaleniecki said.

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