Marty Markowitz Denies Discrimination, Admits Calling Staffer "Tinkerbell"

Tuesday, Apr 6, 2010  |  Updated 12:38 PM EDT
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Court documents say Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz lambasted female staffers as incompetent and called a former press secretary "Tinkerbell" because she dropped her belongings here and there, like dust.

Markowitz says he's a fan of the popular Disney character.  Markowitz also admitted to keeping a male staffer on payroll even though he was a regular no-show and came to work looking disheveled.

Former communications director Regina Weiss, who resigned in 2006, filed a discrimination lawsuit against Markowitz in 2007.

Markowitz has denied wrongdoing and city lawyers have dismissed the charges as "baseless."

Documents show Markowitz slammed Weiss and said her predecessor, Sharon Toomer, was fired for "incompetence."  Toomer told the Daily News, "There's definitely a culture of favoritism," which she believes is based on gender and color.

"That culture is driven by the borough president himself."

Depositions from Markowitz and his former chief of staff, Gregory Atkins, reveal a third staffer complained about a dirty joke "that had something to do with a sausage," Atkins said.

The documents also suggest employees were enlisted to work on Markowitz's 2005 campaign.

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