Annoyed Markowitz Lets CBS 2 Know What He Thinks Of $20,000 Fine

Brooklyn Borough President Attempts To Justify Taking His Wife On Funded Trips

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is fighting back after the Conflicts of Interest Board recently slapped him with the largest fine in its history.

You could say love of his wife, Jamie, made him do it.

“Some men get into trouble when they go on business trips without their wife. I’m getting in trouble because I wanted my wife to be with me,” Markowitz said in an exclusive interview with CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

The “trouble” cost Markowitz a whopping $20,000. That was the fine the Conflicts of Interest Board slapped him with for accepting free travel for his wife when she came with him on three trips abroad.

“I think it’s outrageous and it’s ill advised,” Markowitz said. “Not one penny from the state, from the city covered the trips, official trips that I went on with my wife.”

Markowitz tried to get the Conflicts of Interest Board to green light his wife’s freebies by arguing that she is the “first lady of Brooklyn,” much as Michelle Obama is the first lady of the United States. The Board didn’t buy it and neither does Susan Lerner of Common Cause, a good government group.

“Let’s be honest, there is no first lady of Brooklyn. It’s not as if the borough president is the president of the United States. It’s really actually an embarrassing comparison and he should be ashamed,” Lerner said.

“I mean, he gets a salary right?” Bedford Stuyvesant resident Lisa Scott-Spencer asked Kramer, adding when she was told he makes $160,000 per year, “he’s supposed to take care of his wife with that $160,000.”

“I don’t think he should have done it,” added David Corwin of Brooklyn Heights.

“I think it’s disgusting. I’m a retired correction officer and I dealt with criminals for 22 years that does not exclude the likes of Marty Markowitz,” said Tina Butler of East New York.

Markowitz had this to say in response:

“They’re totally wrong. If anything it’s 100 percent ethical. I reported it. It’s not that they discovered it. I’m being punished for representing New York City, or they’d rather me go alone without my wife. Well, I’m not going to go without my wife.”

The borough president argues that officials will reverse the policy the minute people elect a non-billionaire mayor who wants to take his or her partner with them when they travel to represent the city.

The trips were paid for by local governments in Turkey and the Netherlands.

Do you think the fine is fair? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Frank D

    Didn’t MARTY also have a City pay a City Attorney to do his friggin Closing too?

    Geez! This guy has balls to complain. REALLY ENTITLED HUH?

  • Frank D

    We forget? Look at poor Governor Paterson. He got fined for seeing a Yankee. And we all know he could not see the game. RIGHT? He’s blind.

    Graft is directed to the politicos. Not to spouses- same sex or otherwise.

    I go on business trips I have to pay for the old lady to go too. NOT SOME ONE ELSE. Minimally that should be taxable income to her fo this trip. .

    No one elected spouse (heror him). She represents nothing but more than an expensive favor ( aka bribing) to a politician. NOT THAT BORO PRESIDENT ACTUALLY DOES ANYTHING or HAS ANY POWER.


    There… it’s all explained.

  • RIchard Hertz

    I didn’t know Shrek was the president of Brooklyn….go figure.

    • Frank D

      I would have elected Donkey. He was funnier.

  • BF

    At least Marty has a wife who is a woman.

  • TOOKIE521

    people you just can’t make this stuff up- this has to be the funniest story this morning that i have read. so if his wife is the FIRST LADY OF BROOKLYN-then i must be the FIRST LADY OF QUEENS-lol- and i am not even a politician. come on Marty, PAY UP OR SHUT UP……we still loveyou


    GOOD FOR YOU xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!

    Tell it like it is!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Truth

    Why are so many people here hating on this man? He dident take your money and the other contires paid the tab as a good gesture. At least he wasent there fooling around. What is wronig with some of you sheep. Jelous? do something for yourself.

  • gjk

    Americans didn’t pay for this, Turks and the Dutch did. They not complaining, so why are we?

  • Gloria Guerriera

    What ridiculousness, How much of a fine did Weiner get ?How much of a fine did Paterson get? How much of afine did Spitzer get. How much of a fine did Rangel get? Leave Marty alone!

  • jaypee

    Marty, you’re full of sh&t. Pay up . First lady of Brooklyn. What nonsense!

  • SusieQ

    Why was he representing Brooklyn in The Netherlands and Turkey? It seems very far-fetched to me. Do representatives of these countries also visit Brooklyn? And does the Brooklyn taxpayer pay for their wives? I agree, it’s better to take your wife with you. But a holiday is one thing. No boss I know had their spouse paid for.
    And I really just can’t understand what interest/benefits Brooklyn residents would get in having their borough president visit these countries. The whole thing seems bogus.

  • nelson g

    i don’t get what the big deal is, if he owes,he pays……. don’t think it will be an issue unless we payed for her,….even then,…..this isn’t a problem

  • Barry Levine

    The twenty thousand was not enough, this jerk who has no ability other than having his face plastered all over the place, had the good fortune to get a job paying a hundred and sixty thousand dollars PLUS benefits and should really be in the food service business…….ya want fries with that, sir???
    What benefit is this guy to the boro of Brooklyn? Who knows how many millions of tax dollars is being wasted with the boro president office and the untold number of people on the city payroll……..this is why the city sales tax is a small fraction below nine percent, the next mayor will most probably raise it to ten percent.
    This city would be in a hell of a lot better shape if we got rid of the chair warming politicians, their “staffs”, their offices, their non-informative mailings and so much more.

  • iggy

    marty’s right. as soon as the little tyrant isn’t mayor, and the next one has to pay for his wife to travel, the rules will be changed.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live