Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz is not one to pass up a press opportunity—even if it means traveling overseas! The latest financial disclosure forms from the city's Conflicts of Interest Board require city officials to disclose any trip paid for by a non-governmental entity costing over $1,000 for activities related to "official duties with the City." The CIB even has an interactive guide in case officials get confused. So, where did people go?
Markowitz traveled to Turkey to "develop sister-city status with Izmir, Turkey" on a trip paid for by the Federation of Turkish American Associations. While that could be written off as a "working trip," he may have a harder time with the trip to the Netherlands. The four day jaunt, costing "between $5,000 and $39,999," was so he could represent New York at the "NY 400: Made in Holland 1609" celebration. We assume there at least a bad "Breuckelen" pun involved. Other freebies included Christine Quinn's trip to Belfast to speak at an awards dinner and Council Member James Sanders' trip to Israel (which he spelled “Isreal" on the form).
However, Council Member Charles Barron seems to have forgotten to disclose his trip to Egypt last year, and both Council Member Gale Brewer and Sanders failed to file their reports on time. When told that he would face a fine, Saunders told the Wall Street Journal, "Well, if they want to fine me, why not? Help yourself." Plus, what's a few thousand when you get to visit the holy land for free? A third of the City Council also listed credit card debts, some up to $165,000. But there's no reason to believe they'd be that careless with our money, right?