NYC Council Speaker to Pay Fine After Ethics Probe

NEW YORK (AP) -

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is reaching a settlement with the city’s Conflict of Interest Board.

Mark-Viverito, a Democrat, agreed to pay a $7,000 fine following a non-criminal investigation into free political consulting services she accepted during her speaker bid in 2013.

That is far smaller than the $25,000 statutory maximum she faced when the inquiry began.

The ethics board investigated Mark-Viverito for improperly accepting help from the Advance Group, a lobbying firm that does business with the city.

Elected officials are barred from accepting anything of value from registered lobbyists, including free services. The ethics board estimated the firm improperly donated $3,700 in services.

A spokesman for Mark-Viverito said that it was “a positive resolution” and that the speaker looked forward to getting back to work.