From the NY Times:
Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, reported not one, but two, international trips last year, one of many revelations contained in financial disclosure forms that the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board released on Tuesday.
Over four days in March 2009, Mr. Markowitz’s form for 2009 disclosed, he was a guest of the “Kingdom of Netherlands,” a trip that had been arranged by the consul general at a cost ranging between $5,000 and $39,999. The trip’s official purpose, according to the form, was to represent the City of New York at “NY 400: Made in Holland 1609,’’ described as “the Netherlands official celebration of their 400 year relationship with New York.”
He also accepted a five-day trip to Turkey in November as a guest of the Federation of Turkish American Associations. That trip was also said to have cost $5,000 to $39,999, between airfare and lodging. It was described as being a “working trip to develop sister-city status with Izmir, Turkey — socio-economic relations, secure new ways of working, develop multi-purpose collaborations and strengthen relations.”
The prior year, his disclosure forms showed him taking a “working trip” to Israel as a guest of the state’s Ministry of Tourism. The intent of that trip, he wrote, was “to honor Brooklyn’s connection to Israel and reaffirm our support of its goals, as well as to promote tourism between Israel and Brooklyn – encouraging Israelis to visit Brooklyn just as we encourage Brooklyn travelers of every background to consider experiencing the beauty and rich history of Israel.”
A spokesman for Mr. Markowitz said the trip to the Netherlands had many sponsors and celebrated long-standing “ties between New York (and by extension Brooklyn) and the Netherlands.” He said the trip to Turkey came about when the borough president was invited to speak at the ninth annual “World Congress of Councils Conference.”
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