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September 18, 2008

Marty’$ borough haul

The Brooklyn Paper
By Mike McLaughlin

The city comptroller is “very concerned” about no-bid contracts that Borough President Markowitz made on behalf of his own charity, Best of Brooklyn.

Bill Thompson, the city’s fiscal watchdog and a possible mayoral rival against Markowitz in 2009, lambasted the Beep on Wednesday for sidestepping city oversight by inking four contracts in 2005 for $24,999 each — one dollar below the threshold to trigger a review by Thompson. (After this year’s City Council slush fund scandal, the amount initiating a review was lowered to $5,000.)

And what would a local political scandal be without a giant slushie from one of the City's most-loathsome deep-pocketed developers? [Yup, the same developer who made the headlines in Jan 2004 because he no longer contributes to political campaigns to avoid the appearance of quid pro quo.]

But the line between government responsibilities and charity work is blurry. Markowitz, a longtime supporter of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project, received $200,000–$350,000 from Ratner’s company last year for his concert series. And Markowitz’s Best of Brooklyn also received contributions of $15,000–$60,000 from Forest City Ratner Companies, a Ratner executive and a subsidiary.

The contributions give, at the very least, the appearance of a payback, watchdogs said.

“If it’s not illegal, it certainly raises some very serious ethical questions," Dick Dadey of the non-partisan Citizens Union told The Daily News.

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NoLandGrab: This classic cartoon originally ran on NoLandGrab back in '05. Big surprise, nothing has changed.

Posted by lumi at September 18, 2008 5:53 AM