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Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz ‘Flabbergasted’ By $20K Fine Levied By City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board fined Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz $20,000 for bringing his wife along on official foreign trips without paying for her expenses, the board announced Monday.

In its ruling, the board said the two trips to Turkey and one to the Netherlands were legitimate city business for Markowitz and there was no problem with his accepting the free trips. But the board found that since the city wouldn’t have paid for Markowitz’s wife to accompany him, he shouldn’t have accepted travel expenses for her.

Markowitz said he was “flabbergasted” by the decision.

Markowitz spoke to 1010 WINS on Monday and said that the fine simply doesn’t make sense.

“I was proud of the fact that every penny for the round-trip airfare and for the hotel room and the buffets we went to were paid for by the foreign governments — not New York City. And that’s the part that absolutely confuses me,” he said.

“When you go over there, who do you think you’re meeting with? The mayors and their spouses,” he said, adding that he was expected to bring his wife.

The borough president warned that the ruling meant future mayors and other city elected officials would be unable to bring their spouses on official business overseas, unless they could afford to pay for it themselves.

The board estimated the value of his wife’s travel totaled at least $11,000. Their trips were sponsored by the governments of Turkey and the Netherlands, and by the Federation of Turkish American Associations.

“My wife had her own itinerary. She worked as I did. She joined me at most every event we went to and these countries expected us to be a team. And to fine us this kind of money, to represent New York City, without a dime of New York City money being used is crazy,” Markowitz told WINS.

Markowitz was fined $2,000 earlier this year by the board after his chief of staff acted as his lawyer when he bought a house in 2009.

“The United States federal government allows agency heads of the federal government, the Congress members to take their spouse on official trips. And the Conflicts of Interest Board said that I had a right to be there, except that if I want my wife to join me, pay for her. Well you know what? This wasn’t a vacation,” Markowitz said.

Agree Or Disagree With The Fine On Markowitz?  Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Gerald Waldman says:

    Mayor Bloomberg, Members of the City Council — How can you justify The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board fining Marty Markowitz $20,000 for taking “two trips to Turkey and one to the Netherlands were legitimate city business for Markowitz” for taking his wife when, according to the article he said “My wife had her own itinerary. She worked as I did. She joined me at most every event we went to and these countries expected us to be a team. And to fine us this kind of money, to represent New York City, without a dime of New York City money being used is crazy,” According to the article “The board estimated the value of his wife’s travel totaled at least $11,000. Their trips were sponsored by the governments of Turkey and the Netherlands, and by the Federation of Turkish American Associations.” who paid for ALL expenses, including those of Marty’s wife! I think Mr. Markowitz would be justified in taking the City, The Mayor, the City Council and the Conflicts of Interest Board to State or Federal Court and suing them for whatever reason he or his lawyer can think up to get back his $20,000 plus high punitive damages. But he’s probably too much of a gentleman and concerned about the city to do so.

  2. Jose A. Ortiz says:

    I still dont understand how anyone can be supporting Marty for using city funds to bring his wife to Turkey…

    STOP SPENDING MY TAX MONEY MARTY

    1. Gerald Waldman says:

      Learn to read. The article states that the governments of Turkey, the Netherlands and a Turkish-American group PAID for Markowitz AND his wife, NOT NYC! Then again, I guess you might have a reading comprehension problem, especially if your a recent graduate.

      1. Gerald Waldman says:

        That should read “… you’re a recent …”.

  3. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx says:

    Why does this man have a million dollar house near Prospect Park and no real job?Were are the Feds are they to busy giving free guns to the Mexican drug cartels.. He is dirty like the Mayor and we know it

  4. GREG says:

    WHO DOES MARTY THINK HE IS? CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG BUT DIDN’T MARTY WRITE A LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION TO A JUDGE IN BROOKLYN FOR A PERSON WHO WAS CONVICTED OF MONEY LAUNDERING(THE OWNER OF MARCO POLO RESUURANT) BACK A FEW YEARS AGO. NICE GOING MARTY!!!!!!

    1. Gerald Waldman says:

      So, what has that to do with NOT spending CITY money and getting fined $20K by the City for it?

    2. Gerald Waldman says:

      PS DON’T YELL AT ME!

  5. Joseph Didonato says:

    Why is he bringing his spouse on offical business? They never get it that people in the city are being laid off and they are traveling on their dime!

    1. Nancy says:

      Will you please read the article properly?? The trips were paid by the Netherlands and the Turkish goverments, NOT NYC. They were not traveling at YOUR expense!! If anyone has the right to cry foul. It should be the citzens of Turkey and the Netherlands, who had to foot the bill.

      1. Gerald Waldman says:

        Go Nancy. These idiots can’t read or have a reading comprehension problem!

  6. Marc P says:

    Another stupid politician that doesn’t get it. Always looking for a freebie.

    1. Gerald Waldman says:

      SO, Turkey and the Netherlands footed the bill, NOT NYC and they expected him to bring his wife! On top of all that, he got fined $20k for not spending any City/taxpayer money on the trip! LEARN TO READ!

  7. bloombergisafascist says:

    this is what happens when you dare to go against HERR bloomberg on any issue. markowitz has had a few disagreements with king bloomberg and now he is paying the price literally

  8. diver says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how a trip to Turkey and the Netherlands is a legit trip which NYC residents should foot the bill?

    1. Here. Let me read it for you. says:

      @diver

      Perhaps if you read the article you wouldn’t be confused: “I was proud of the fact that every penny for the round-trip airfare and for the hotel room and the buffets we went to were paid for by the foreign governments — not New York City. And that’s the part that absolutely confuses me,” he said.

    2. Gerald Waldman says:

      Have a reading comprehension problem, bubbe?

  9. Gregory says:

    Be asute enough to hire smart political advisors who keep abreast of the ever changing laws or become a Congressman.

  10. rico says:

    From my dealings with Marty and his Chief of Staff they genuinely have the borough’s best interest at heart. Both work very hard! By The New York City Conflicts of Interest Board fining Marty and making a public spectacle of the borough and its leader we are further undermining our already problematic political body. We have our hands full with Washington’s sanfus do we really need this negative publicity …shouldn’t we all be focused on uniting the leaders and people of our great borough rather than trying to sell more papers with pseudo-scandalous headlines. We have enough to worry about… couldn’t this have been easily dealt with in a more professional manner…without the cheap headlines. .

  11. Gershon says:

    Many ridiculous things happen in Kings. See just collaboration of Kings DA Hynes and judge Michael L Pesce in robbing judge Fillips at Brooklyn dash justice dot info.
    It’s all under Markowitz-Lippman rule.

  12. Bob says:

    Markowitz is a vocal opponent of Mayor Bloomberg, so this is probably our little emperor’s way of punishing him for his insolence.

  13. Jose A. Ortiz says:

    “I was proud of the fact that every penny for the round-trip airfare and for the hotel room and the buffets we went to were paid for by the foreign governments — not New York City. And that’s the part that absolutely confuses me,” he said. i don’t think so The City paid for everything and you took advantage of that;The City should sue you to return the money and then put you behind bars

    1. nancy says:

      Do people named “Jose” NOT know how to read???? I guess you failed reading comprehension in school. NYC did not pay for those trips. The foreign goverments paid for them. NYC did not pay for those trips!! Now do you get it??

      1. Smitten says:

        Will you marry me?

    2. Gerald Waldman says:

      See if you can understand/comprehend this: Jose Ortiz is stupid and can’t read! Get the message, now. The CITY paid NOTHING.

    3. Gerald Waldman says:

      Why do you think “[t]he City paid for everything …”? Are you calling Marty Markowitz a liar? You need more than reading and/or reading comprehension Help there, Jose.

  14. Stick it to the city says:

    Marty should stick it to the city and quit the job. Imagine your employer sticking it to you like this. Or better yet, just lose passion in your job since the city obviously is doing that and let your performance suffer. NYC is the one thats going to lose more then $20k at the end. Dumb inept government at its worse again.

  15. bdiddy says:

    This is complete non-sense. Leave Mr Markowitz alone. Conflict of Interest Com. needs to find better use of their time and tax payers money.

  16. nancy says:

    If other foreign governments are footing the tab, leave him alone. He should have only be fined, if the city ended up paying for his wife. That would make more sense.

    1. Jose A. Ortiz says:

      He should returned the money to the City;the City paid for his expenses not for her to travel with him;he should had paid for her expenses;that is tax payer money

      1. Joel says:

        Do you understand what you read? The city didn’t pay for the trip, the foreign government payed for it.

      2. Jose cant read says:

        Jose WOW you are as dumb as they come.Read the article Einstein.

      3. Gerald Waldman says:

        Hey Jose, are you really that stupid? For about the FOURTH time, the CITY PAID NOTHING, NADA, NYET for Markowitz AND his wife and the City is STILL fineing him $20,000! Capice! (This guy is dumber than a box of rocks!)

    2. Nancy says:

      Obviously jose cant read. He missed the part where it said the Turkish government paid for the expenses, NOT NYC!! Maybe, Jose considers Istabul to be his city.
      I wish people would take the time to read the article. You will sound a lot smarter when it comes to the comments.

  17. akinginbrooklyn says:

    Leave Marty alone, he is actually fantastic for the borough of kings! This is simply ridiculous … the poor schmuck works his tail off for Brooklyn.

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