Martha Stark, Modest Political Embarrassment to Mayor, Resigns

You might not have noticed (and, gotta be honest, we didn't either) that Martha Stark, the city finance commissioner, was being investigated for a... well, a few things. Stark was thought to have conducted a possibly inappropriate relationship: she had been dating her now-former assistant commissioner, Dara Ottley-Brown, who later became a commissioner on the Board of Standards and Appeals; Stark also hired members of Ottley-Brown's extended family, including her ex-husband. That doesn't seem like a big deal, especially for New York politics, which are famously inbred -- look at all the Hikinds and Rangels on the people's payroll. But Ottley-Brown's salary rose quite a bit once she became Stark's girlfriend, and Stark was caught "moonlighting" for a real-estate company called Tarragon while serving as commissioner.

More than that, this is an election year, and the Mayor can't have any funny business, so today he announced Stark's resignation. He thanked her "for her years of service" and said she "made the Finance Department and our city a better place." He declined to state what she'd been canned for.


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