Courier Life’s

Marty: Change the law so I can bring the ‘First Lady’ on important trips

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

There oughta be a law.

Borough President Markowitz is demanding that the city relax its ethics regulations so that he and other top elected officials can bring their spouses on international junkets.

Markowitz issued his call for new rules just days after he was slapped with a $20,000 fine for allowing his wife to accept freebies on three of his official trips overseas.

“It’s not a law, just a set of regulations that the city has in place,” Markowitz said on Thursday. “[The city] should seriously consider clarifiying it.”

He defiantly claimed that Jamie Markowitz’s travel perks were legitimate because she is “the First Lady of Brooklyn.”

Under the Beep’s proposal, such borough “first ladies” would be allowed to take the same freebies that are given to their elected spouses, who are allowed to take free trips to promote the borough or the city — as Markowitz did on the trips to Turkey and the Netherlands in 2007 and 2009.

His wife tagged along and got free travel, earning the fine.

“[Markowitz] received the trips abroad because of his position as borough president of Brooklyn, and his wife went on all three trips because of her relationship with him,” Judge Kevin Casey ruled last week. “By accepting travel expenses for his wife, [Markowitz] used his position as a public servant for private or personal advantage.”

Markowitz disagreed, saying that the freebies were a gift from a foreign government, not an abuse of American taxpapers.

“I should be commended,” he said.

Markowitz’s call for relaxed ethics law would stop short of lower-level elected officials.

“A legislator is only one out of 50, out of 60, out of 80,” he said. “A borough president is one out of one.” (There actually are five borough presidents.)

Still some councilmembers are backing Markowitz’s bid to increase his wife’s ability to join him on international trips, saying that Jamie Markowitz is, indeed, our First Lady.

“Wives play an official part the lives of elected officials,” said Councilman Dominic Recchia (D–Coney Island). “People come up to our wives, ‘Oh I’m having a problem with this; I’m having a problem with that.’ And our wives come back to us. They’re involved in our professional lives.”

And Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park) said the council’s ruling was an unfair and harsh reading of the law.

“What they did to the borough president bordered on surreal,” said Fidler. “[Turkey and the Netherlands] weren’t buying any undue influence. What was the advantage to them? It’s not like they were going to get a discount on the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

J Talan from Lefferts Manor says:
That's another reason that there should be term limits! Markowitz thinks he owns the job and our money also.
Aug. 2, 2011, 8:04 pm
jeff from Staten island says:
BULL. Marty has always been full of it.
Aug. 2, 2011, 8:19 pm
Bob from Marine Park says:
First Lady of Brooklyn? I may consider paying her way to Hoboken; but Turkey? BTW Marty, what benefit did Brooklyn residents gain from your trip ?
The city regulations should be changed to forbid ANY foreign travel by city elected officials. If there isn't a law, there should be a law!

Lew, wake up and smell the the coffee! This is entirely inappropriate; especially in these economic times.
As J Talan said above; another reason for term limits!
When you mutts start feeling entitled; it's time to turn you out!
Aug. 2, 2011, 10:06 pm
Jeffrey from Brooklyn says:
Marty is a piece of scum, I am embarrassed that he is the "President" of Brooklyn
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:33 pm
Mary from BROOKLYN says:
Get over it people. Nobody on either side gained anything that could be considered wrong. Turkey and the Netherlands did not. Marty and his wife did not.
It did not cost the city, or the borough a nickel.

They did not go on a pleasure trip. They were not sightseeing all over either country. Turkey is like the sister city of Brooklyn. IT is GOOD TOURISM advertising for Brooklyn.

WHAT WAS THE VIOLATION -- WHAT IS THE PROBLEM I know we are having money problems, but to fine someone for doing their job is nuts, and YES he should have taken his wife with him. I'm sure the people he met with had their wives there as well.

ENOUGH ALREADY - Give him the $20,000 back and pay attention to the important things in Government - this is not more than attacking a Public figure who is not afraid to speak out - KEEP IT UP MARTY
Aug. 3, 2011, 8:06 am
jerry from brighton beach says:
@ Mary : The biggest problem with Marty taking these "junkets" is that he's not an Ambassador or anything that remotely resembles a Mayor or governor . He's a stinking Borough President. And as far as his wife, she's a so-called graphic artist.
They both are bottom feeders who go to the trough to feed & abuse his office for the betterment of THEMSELVES.
He took $ 17,700 from the Turkish Office of Toourism for his Seaside Concerts & then promotoed the Turkish Taxi of the Future for NYC.
In my book that's a "Quid pro Quo" or the very least a "Pay for Play."
Let's get real here. He's the poster boy for "Pay for Play." A serial violator of NYC Laws & Regulations.
Aug. 3, 2011, 9:47 am
Mary from BROOKLYN says:
Well Jerry - Yes he is the Borough President, which, by the way, is an elected position. It kind of is like the Mayor of Brooklyn. The money for the Concerts was not put in his pocket, but helped people in Brooklyn enjoy some quality summer entertainment. I don't think "the Turkish Taxi of the future" (whatever that is) is going to endanger anybody morally or otherwise.
Just off the top of my head, I would venture to say that you simply don't like Mr. Markowitz. In which case, the next time he runs for something don't vote for him. But he is doing his job, very well, I might add. He simply Loves Brooklyn and is an over the top walking talking advertisement fo it.
Put very simply You are wrong. He should have brought his wife, he should continue to do so. Not one single Brooklynite lost anything because of it, nor did it cost any of us anything and the city or is just trying to capitalize on nothing.
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:19 am
jerry from brighton beach says:
@ Mary : Let me ask you a question. Other than ribbon cutting ceremonies at various Delis , what does this Buffoon do?
The Buffoon term is what former Brooklyn Borough Preside Howard Golden called Mr. Markowitz back in 1985 & it still holds true today.
Another question : What happens to the $ 5 seat money that people pay for at the Seaside Concerts? Many people want like to know.
He's never got a sound permit for over 20 years for his concerts at Seaside Park. He thinks he is above the Laws of NYC.
Whether it's travel , the closing on his house, & other conflict of interest issues.There's a reason he has been awarded the Knucklehead from the NY Daily News. At least three times that I know of recently.
Plain & simple he's a BUM.
Aug. 3, 2011, 4:25 pm
Mary from BROOKLYN says:
Plain and simple Jerry. You need to read more than the nasty articles printed in the papers. Marty MArkowitz worked hard for "Brooklyn" long before he became Borough President and continues to do so today. I will not even comment on Howard Golden. Like they say "if you have nothing nice to say, SAY NOTHING".
The next time you see the money fall out of the sky to pay the performers at these shows, please let me know. Perhaps you would like to ask Aretha Franklin tonight if she worked for free.
As far as being branded a BUM. Coming from Breooklyn, that is not a bad title.
You really need to focus on what you know to be Fact, not what you read and hear.
There must also be a definition and/or a job description out there somewhere. Why don't you try to find that.
Aug. 4, 2011, 6:33 am
jerry from brighton beach says:
@Mary : With all due respect , when Marty was a NYS Senator he was a do nothing NYS Senator.
He never sponsored any worthwhile legislation for the resaidents Brooklyn .
He's a bottom feeder right out of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club. Among his colleagues there are Meade Esposito and Marty's great friend Carl Kruger.
Birds of a feather stick together.
Sorry Mary , you can keep this BUM up on a pedistal but for me & thousands of other Brooklynites he's just another self-serving politican with his hand out.
Keep contributing money to his Campaign Fund, this way he can spend Your money on his next legal defense.
Aug. 4, 2011, 8:08 am
Mary from BROOKLYN says:
Well, either these "thousands" of so called Brooklynites are non-voters, or there is something very wrong with your Math.
You just seem to love clumping people together in sterotypes. This one is like this one etc.

Obviously, you care nothing about whether Marty Markowitz should, or should not have taken his wife on these trips, all you want to do is make everything into a political wrong doing.
Maybe you should try to run for some office and let's see what someone can make out of where you live, what you eat and what you do with your spare time in your family life.
Good Luck
Aug. 4, 2011, 8:54 am
Christine from New Jersey says:
Some of you are really mean. I think Marty Markowitz is a fine Borough President and all of you should be working together to keep Brooklyn as wonderful as it is. C'mon ~ I'm not feeling the love!
March 21, 2012, 10:21 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group