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Markowitz fined for using staff lawyer to close home purchase, had denied doing so until confronted with documents; BP's travel record gets a look

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, according to the Times's CityRoom post, Brooklyn Borough Chief Fined for Conflict of Interest, has been fined $2,000 by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board for using Chief of Staff Carlo Scissura as his lawyer for a home-buying transaction in 2009. Scissura was fined $1100.

Scissura, in response to Markowitz's request, had recommended Leslie Lombard, who worked at his law firm. But Lombard was on maternity leave and Scissura replaced her. Markowitz didn't get a bill until the COIB began investigating.

The Daily News, in Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz slapped with $2K fine for using work lawyer for home deal, adds to the story it broke, pointing to some duplicity:
Markowitz initially denied that Scissura had represented him - then claimed, when presented with contradicting documents, that the law applies only to lawyers working for the city as attorneys, not as chiefs of staffs.
Beyond conflicts, travel

The Wall Street Journal, in its report, links to a 7/21/10 report, Officials Disclose Freebies, Debt, that stars the BP:
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz accepted more free travel than any other elected official in New York City last year, journeying with his wife to Turkey and the Netherlands, records released Tuesday showed.

Mr. Markowitz, and his wife, Jamie, visited the Netherlands March 18-21, 2009, and they spent Nov. 13-17 in Turkey. Each trip cost between $5,000 and $39,999, and in both cases the couple allowed others to pay their way, records show.
Maybe that's why he was antsy about going to China last October to shill for Forest City Ratner's EB-5 venture. He still appeared on video, though.