KIRSTEN DANIS, DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF reports about Regina Weiss claims:
Tuesday, December 4th 2007, 4:00 AM
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz improperly ordered staffers to work on his 2005 reelection campaign and turned a blind eye to office sexual shenanigans, his former communications chief charged Monday.
Regina Weiss claims in a discrimination lawsuit that she was tormented by Markowitz’s chief of staff for more than a year before she was booted from the $83,000-a-year job in February 2006.
Weiss, 50, says in the suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court that she was forced out to make room for younger men.
Soon after she took the job of communications director in January 2005, Weiss said, she and her staff were put to work on Markowitz’s reelection.
The press office drilled Markowitz before debates, studied polls and reviewed campaign material in what would be a violation of city conflict-of-interest laws, said her lawyer Jack Tuckner.
“It was a fairly significant distraction,” said Tuckner, of the Manhattan firm Tuckner, Sipser.
The suit also charges that Greg Atkins, the borough president’s chief of staff, engaged in “inappropriate sexual activity” in the office with three other staffers.
The staffers were not named and Tuckner did not elaborate.
Laura Sinagra, a spokeswoman for Markowitz, said the office had not seen the complaint.
“This office denies the allegations communicated to it by the Daily News, and will duly defend against them if served,” Sinagra said.
Tuckner said Markowitz often praised Weiss, and most of her difficulty was with Atkins.
Atkins “refused to discuss her concerns that the office was being misused for political purposes,” the suit claims.