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January 23, 2006

Virginia Fields $40,000 Screw

Fields Farewell Cost Taxpayers 40G
New York Post
by Frankie Edozien

January 23, 2006 -- As the clock ticked toward the end of her career in elective office, C. Virginia Fields sent out two farewell newslet ters detailing her accomplishments as Manhattan Borough president. As usual, taxpayers picked up the tab--more than $40,000.

While a mayoral candidate last year, Fields expressed outrage that rival Democratic Gifford Miller blan keted neighborhoods with campaign-style newsletters paid with $1.6 million from his account as City Council speaker.

Miller aides initially claimed the barrage only cost $37,000. Fields fired off two letters to the Conflicts of Interest Board, asking for an investigation. But her own farewell newsletters, she insisted, were entirely appropriate.

The eight-page pamphlets detailed the goals she said she'd fulfilled. Among those achievements were reconstruction of Frederick Douglass Boulevard, pushing for lead-safe houses, upgrading services for seniors and advocating a Second Avenue subway.

"Newsletters are a way to communicate with constituents, and I took the opportunity to thank constituents. I thought it would be a good way to round out my time," Fields told The Post.

Fields said that final mailing cost $7,000-plus for printing and another $3,367 for postage.

A second pamphlet, detailing the work done in the office last year was also mailed out that month. The total for the two mailings came to $40,130, officials said.

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