City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will pay a $7,000 fine for breaking city laws on taking gifts from lobbyists, under a settlement with the Conflicts of Interest Board released Wednesday.
Mark-Viverito admitted she ran afoul of conflicts of interest rules by taking free help from Scott Levenson and his consulting firm the Advance Group when she was running for speaker two years ago.
Levenson, a registered lobbyist, and two staffers spent months pitching in on Mark-Viverito’s bid for the top job — attending “kitchen cabinet” meetings to prepare her for debates with other speaker candidates and networking events.
They also redesigned a flyer for a reception hosted in her honor at the Somos el Futuro conference in Puerto Rico, and spent $1,796.44 to have 3,000 copies of it printed at a FedEx office.
Mark-Viverito, an East Harlem rep who became speaker in January 2014, was never billed for the work.
City rules bar public officials from taking gifts worth more than $50 from people who do business with the city. And lobbyists are barred from giving any gifts to pols.