Markowitz fined $2,000 for using aide as lawyer in home closing

February 07, 2011 06:28PM

The city’s Conflicts of Interest Board has fined Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz $2,000 in a settlement, after he was charged for using his top aide as a lawyer for a home closing. When Markowitz and his wife Jamie bought a $1.45 million semi-detached home in 2009 in Windsor Terrace, Markowitz’s chief of staff, Carlo Scissura, was listed in property records as the lawyer who handled the transaction, an apparent violation of rules barring public officials from using their employees for personal business, the Daily News reported. Markowitz initially denied Scissura involvement, but after being presented with contradicting documents, he claimed that the law only applied to lawyers working for the city as attorneys, not as chiefs of staff. The Conflicts Board announced today that Markowitz reached a settlement to pay a $2,000 fine, while Scissura was also fined $1,100. Both declined to comment but said they told the Board that Scissura initially referred Markowitz to his boss, Leslie Lombard, a lawyer who works at Scissura’s firm. When Lombard gave birth three weeks before the closing, Scissura took over the transaction, but did no other legal work and wasn’t paid, he said. Lombard did not bill Markowitz until eight months after the closing when city investigators started asking questions. [NYDN]