Commish, aides hit for travel
CORRECTION Commissioner Cynthia Brann and eight top staffers have reached settlements in the wake of a damning probe that found they used city cars for personal travel.
The city Conflicts of Interest Board revealed the agreements six months after former Commissioner Joseph Ponte resigned over his role in the scandal.
Brann paid a $6,000 fine after she was found to have used her city car to make 13 trips to shopping malls and three to Kennedy Airport at a time when she was a deputy commissioner.
“At the time, I erroneously believed that I was allowed to use my DOC (Department of Correction) take-home vehicle for all personal travel in case a DOC emergency required my immediate response and travel to a DOC facility,” she said, according to a disposition released Tuesday.
Brann ran afoul of the conflicts board again when she enlisted a subordinate to help her pay the fine.
Brann, of Queens, complained to an underling that it was difficult for her to obtain a certified check or money order because she didn’t have a New York bank account.
The pair came up with a way around the problem — she would write him a personal check for the amount of the fine, and he would obtain a cashier’s check drawn from his personal account.
But Brann later acknowledged that such an agreement violated a law prohibiting public servants from using their positions to obtain a personal favor from a subordinate.
In addition to her fine, Brann reimbursed the department $493 for the mileage incurred and forfeited eight days of personal leave — bringing the total value of her penalty to $11,824.
A City Hall spokeswoman said Brann has the mayor’s full support.
“The mayor is confident in Commissioner Brann, and this issue has been addressed at length,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Natalie Grybauskas.