Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz was fined $20,000 for accepting free trips and travel accommodations for his wife, the Conflicts of Interests Board said Monday.
Between 2007 and 2009, Markowitz, 66, took his wife, Jaime, 53, to Turkey twice for world conferences and once to the Netherlands once for the anniversary of Henry Hudson's New York voyage. The board said it's "undisputed" that the trips were work-related, so he could accept them for free, but should have paid for his wife’s travel costs.
"By accepting travel expenses for his wife for each trip, [Markowitz] used his position as a public servant for private or personal advantage," the board said. “Simply put, his wife was able to travel with him abroad – for free."
Markowitz argued that fine is unfair, saying his wife was often required to attend events with him and that the pair traveling together represent the city as one.
"When Jamie and I were on these trips foreign officials looked at us as a team,."
Markowitz said, adding that "zero taxpayer dollars" were used for the trips.
Regardless, Markowitz will pony up within his 30 allotted days.