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NYatKNIGHT
December 15th, 2004, 01:43 PM
December 15, 2004

Missteps Cited in Kerik Vetting by White House

By ELISABETH BUMILLER

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/15/national/15cnd-kerik.650a.jpg
Dith Pran/The New York Times
Bernard B. Kerik spoke to reporters on Saturday outside his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J. He said he thought he would have made it through the confirmation process but that it would have burdened the administration.



This article was reported by Elisabeth Bumiller, Eric Lipton and David Johnston and written by Ms. Bumiller.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 - Despite hours of confrontational interviews by the White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, the Bush administration failed to get a full picture of the legal and ethical problems of Bernard B. Kerik, its nominee for homeland security secretary, a government official said on Tuesday.

In addition, the White House did not consult with the one person in the West Wing who knew the most about Mr. Kerik's background, Frances Townsend, because Ms. Townsend, President Bush's adviser on homeland security and a former federal prosecutor in New York, was under consideration for the position herself, said the official, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Those problems, law enforcement officials and Republicans said, were just two of the factors that led to the collapse of the Kerik nomination and surprised a White House focused on changing more than half the cabinet.

The story of Mr. Kerik's nomination is one of how a normally careful White House faltered because of Mr. Bush's personal enthusiasm for Mr. Kerik, a desire by the administration to quickly fill a critical national security job and an apparent lack of candor from Mr. Kerik himself.

A Republican close to the White House who has participated in background reviews of presidential nominees said the fault lay both with Mr. Kerik and with "whoever's job it was to check him out."

A major problem, law enforcement officials said, was that the White House did not have the benefit of any F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Kerik's past. Mr. Kerik, as New York City's police commissioner on Sept. 11, 2001, had been offered a high security clearance by federal officials so he could receive classified intelligence about the city's security, a law enforcement official said. But he failed to return a questionnaire needed for the F.B.I. to conduct a background check, and he never received that clearance, the law enforcement official said.

Mr. Kerik said on Tuesday night through his spokesman, Christopher Rising, that he could not remember receiving the questionnaire. Mr. Kerik still received classified information from the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. regarding security issues in New York, the law enforcement official said, although the police commissioner was not given the most sensitive intelligence about the sources of the data. He served as police commissioner through the end of 2001.

Mr. Kerik also failed to complete a required federal financial disclosure form in May 2003, when he left the country to spend three and a half months in Iraq trying to train Iraqi police officers, a law enforcement official said. The disclosure form, law enforcement officials said, might have turned up some of the financial problems that surfaced this month in connection with a condominium he owned in New Jersey.

In addition, law enforcement officials said, Mr. Bush announced Mr. Kerik's nomination before the F.B.I. had begun the full field investigation required of all cabinet nominees. The officials said such an investigation would have readily uncovered the problems that doomed Mr. Kerik's nomination. The investigation was not done, administration officials said, because the Bush White House has generally not conducted such checks, which take numerous agents many weeks to complete, until after the president announces a nominee. A former White House official who has conducted background checks said that the Bush White House got into the habit during the abbreviated transition in 2000, when there was little time for investigating nominees.

The Clinton administration also waited on F.B.I. background checks, which caused a number of embarrassments. But the administrations of Ronald Reagan and the President Bush's father, for the most part, waited until an F.B.I. investigation was complete before the president announced a cabinet nominee.

White House officials said the counsel's office had conducted a less-comprehensive investigation of Mr. Kerik over several weeks in November, before the president announced his nomination, and that the White House was well aware that he had problems in his past, including a warrant for his arrest in connection with delinquent condominium fees.

Mr. Kerik was nominated by Mr. Bush on Dec. 3 but withdrew a week later, citing problems with a nanny who may have been in the country illegally and whose taxes he had not paid. Since then, Mr. Kerik has had to answer questions about his connections to a New Jersey company suspected of having ties to organized crime and his use of an apartment, donated as a resting spot for police officers at ground zero, where he conducted an affair with his book publisher, according to someone who discussed the relationship with him.

It is unclear exactly what the White House knew of Mr. Kerik's past. But aides there concluded that Mr. Kerik would be regarded as a "colorful" figure whose strong performance after the Sept. 11 attacks would propel him into office, one official said.

Mr. Gonzales, who is himself in the middle of a background review as Mr. Bush's nominee for attorney general, spent hours grilling Mr. Kerik, the official said. As with other nominees, the sessions were aggressive and designed to make Mr. Kerik uncomfortable enough to reveal possible embarrassing events in his record. Even so, he apparently withheld some pertinent facts. Mr. Gonzales declined to comment.

Throughout the process, the Republican close to the administration said, everyone at the White House knew that Mr. Bush liked Mr. Kerik, placing him in the special category of "this guy's our guy." Mr. Bush admired Mr. Kerik for his service as New York City's police commissioner on Sept. 11, 2001, for his willingness to try to train the police force in Iraq and for campaigning tirelessly for the president's re-election.

As for problems in his past that might have derailed his nomination, Republicans noted that former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was enthusiastically vouching for Mr. Kerik. And no one could imagine that the life of a former New York police chief was not already an open book.

Mr. Bush, who first met Mr. Kerik when the president went to the still-smoking ruins of the World Trade Center on Sept. 14, 2001, lavished praise on Mr. Kerik when the two stood side by side on the White House South Lawn in October 2003. The president had just met in the Oval Office with Mr. Kerik upon his return from Iraq.

Others criticized Mr. Kerik for seeming to focus more on seeking publicity than on expanding training programs for new Iraqi police officers. "He was terrific about inspiring people and creating a goal, but he was often not very good about following up and getting it done," one former American official who spent time in Baghdad said this month.

But Mr. Bush did not forget Mr. Kerik's time under fire, or his reflected glow from New York's response to the attacks on the city. By the fall of 2004, Mr. Kerik had become one of the symbols of the Bush campaign's fight against terrorism and traveled the nation spreading the message.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYatKNIGHT
December 15th, 2004, 01:46 PM
December 15, 2004

Apartment Said to Have Been Scene of a Kerik Affair

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/15/nyregion/apartment.184.1.jpg
The apartment building in Battery Park City that was used by Mr. Kerik, and where he is said to have met with Judith Regan, his publisher.

An apartment in Battery Park City that former Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik secured for his personal use after Sept. 11 was originally donated for the use of weary police and rescue workers who were helping at ground zero, according to a real estate executive who has been briefed about the apartment.

After the cleanup had settled into a routine that fall, the executive said, Mr. Kerik, who was still police commissioner, asked to rent the two-bedroom apartment for his own use. During his use of the apartment, Mr. Kerik and Judith Regan engaged in an extramarital affair there, according to someone who spoke to Mr. Kerik about the relationship. Ms. Regan published his best-selling autobiography in 2001.

Rescue workers were combing through the World Trade Center rubble around the clock when Mr. Kerik called Anthony Bergamo, a well-connected vice chairman of the Milstein family real estate company and a police buff, and asked for help finding a place for the workers to rest during breaks, the executive said.

The family owned Liberty View, a 28-story yellow brick tower two blocks southwest of the trade center at the corner of West Street and Third Place.

According to the executive, who knows Mr. Bergamo, the vice chairman arranged for Mr. Kerik to have the use of an apartment there. Several apartments in the buildings had been used by rescue workers on breaks, and by Red Cross staff who were treating them, in the months after 9/11, according to a real estate executive.

Mr. Bergamo, founder of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, which raises money to help families of injured or slain F.B.I. agents, is a well-known figure among law enforcement officers for his interest in all things related to policing. He was made an honorary police commissioner several years ago by Police Commissioner Howard Safir.

Mr. Bergamo is licensed by the Police Department to carry a Colt .45 handgun and two Smith & Wesson handguns, a .38-caliber revolver and a 9-millimeter pistol, the police said. He has renewed the license repeatedly over the last decade or so, the police said.

According to the executive, Mr. Kerik "went to Bergamo asking for an apartment for emergency service workers."

It is unclear exactly who used the apartment and for how long, but after the cleanup of the site settled into a routine, the executive said Mr. Kerik "said he wanted to rent the apartment." Mr. Bergamo rented it to him. Mr. Kerik paid for use of the apartment, but the amount was not clear. Many apartments that were available in Battery Park City after the attack on the trade center were rented at well below market rates for months afterward.

After taking the apartment, Mr. Kerik, who is married with two children and lived at the time in Riverdale, the Bronx, began to meet there with Ms. Regan, said the person who spoke to Mr. Kerik about the matter.

That person said that one bedroom faced the pit of ground zero, and that Ms. Regan visited it while Mr. Kerik was police commissioner, meaning between Sept. 11 and Dec. 31, 2001. Mr. Kerik refused to answer any questions yesterday regarding the apartment.

Ms. Regan, like Mr. Bergamo, received an honorary badge on Dec. 31, 2001, this one from Mr. Kerik himself. It was Mr. Kerik's last day as police commissioner.

Questions have been raised in the past about the tradition of bestowing these ceremonial badges, and whether they create the appearance that those who receive them are in debt to those who grant them. Bearers of the shields are not to become involved in law enforcement activities.

Many residents of the apartment tower said this week that they were unaware of Mr. Kerik's presence, although one man who requested anonymity said that he boarded an elevator six months ago with him. "I said to myself, 'Hey, that's Bernie Kerik,' " the man recalled. "It was surprising. But then I thought, well, maybe he keeps a place down here because he's involved with security and 9/11."

Contacted at the annual Milstein holiday party at the New York Public Library on Monday night, Mr. Bergamo declined to comment and had a reporter escorted out of the building.

Several people who know him describe Mr. Bergamo, who once ran the Milstein family's Milford Plaza Hotel, as a police buff, a man who is fascinated by law enforcement officers. In 1987, he was one of the founders of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, whose board included Ronald Perelman, chairman of Revlon, and Tommy Mottola, the music executive.

Mr. Bergamo told Newsday last fall that each member must contribute or raise $30,000 for the foundation. Some members, like Mr. Bergamo, Mr. Perelman and Mr. Mottola, were made honorary police commissioners and given badges. The group also issued parking placards like those used by the New York police.

Several years ago, Mr. Bergamo undertook an assignment for his boss, Howard Milstein, in connection with a $100 million lawsuit filed by Mr. Milstein against John Kent Cooke, the former owner of the Washington Redskins, over the developer's failed attempt to buy the football team.

Posing as "Anthony Burke" and using a hidden tape recorder, Mr. Bergamo arranged to bump into Mr. Cooke and the former Redskins general manager, Charley Casserly, during a trip to Bermuda in an effort to elicit damaging information.

He did not obtain any incriminating statements, but he did chalk up over $6,500 in expenses.

TLOZ Link5
December 15th, 2004, 02:33 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/15/national/15cnd-kerik.650a.jpg

Nice McMansion, Bernie.

NYatKNIGHT
December 15th, 2004, 06:02 PM
It's a set up. They knew about his nanny problems and everything else, the Bushies are trying to knock Rudy down a notch. Rudy showed up George on Sept. 11th and is held in higher regard by a lot of people. This is all a guess of course, I just don't trust anything about the Bush administration.

Schadenfrau
December 15th, 2004, 06:11 PM
I disagree. I think Giuliani is pretty much the RNC's only hope in 2008 and there's no way they'd mess things up like this.

Perhaps Bushco assumed that the tabloids would have already dug up the dirt on Kerik, were there any dirt to be found. Little did they know that said dirt would come in the form of marble busts and Tiffany-jeweled badges. Oh, yes: and Judith Regan.

NYatKNIGHT
December 15th, 2004, 06:26 PM
True, but the more I thought about it:

1. I simply can't believe nobody looked into Kerik's past before announcing his nomination, it doesn't happen anymore.

2. If Jeb wants to run in '08 they need to knock out Giuliani. Jeb "says" he has no intentions, but that doesn't mean anything.

3. I don't think Bush cares as much about the RNC anymore now that he got re-elected. He's looking out for himself and his legacy, and no one is going to outshine him.

You're probably right though. I may be overly suspicious of Bushco - but really, would you put it past them?

ZippyTheChimp
December 15th, 2004, 06:46 PM
I disagree, Shadenfrau. Although the landscape can easily change, at this point in time, the base of Republicans that got Bush reelected would see Giuliani as not much different from a northeastern Democrat.

I think that Bush is clearing a path for his ideological successor by taking Giuliani down a notch. Now LAPD police chief Bratton has been mentioned as a replacement for Kerik - if true, another swipe at Giuliani, given their stormy relationship when he was NYPD police commissioner.

NoyokA
December 15th, 2004, 09:13 PM
Its too bad because he would've gotten NY some much needed money.

TLOZ Link5
December 15th, 2004, 09:57 PM
Its too bad because he would've gotten NY some much needed money.

Bratton might do the same, if he gets nominated.

ZippyTheChimp
December 16th, 2004, 08:00 AM
http://www.observer.com/index_go.html

Rudy’s Bernie Weekend

by Ben Smith

Three years and three months is a long time to keep your sainthood if you’re still among the living, so give Rudy Giuliani credit: He had a good run.

But mark the date: On Dec. 11, 2004, in a splash of tabloid headlines, history returned to the man formerly known as "America’s Mayor." His attempt to install his former driver and rough-edged alter ego as the Secretary of Homeland Security backfired, his new Republican friends threw him overboard and, returning to New York, he found the city he’d once tamed turning on him, its cowed press militant and his old enemies—remember when Rudy had enemies?—gloating on television.

"Giuliani is trying desperately hard to regain his pre-9/11 reputation," chuckled U.S. Representative Charles Rangel, the Harlem Democrat and longtime Giuliani antagonist who was a ubiquitous commentator on the Kerik affair. "I don’t think it could get lower politically in terms of personal conduct and lack of popularity."

As the stream of damaging stories about Mr. Kerik’s past began to rage out of control, Mr. Giuliani’s small inner circle scrambled frantically to control the damage, a Republican insider told The Observer. They looked for somebody to blame, somebody with good information who might be leaking stories about mistresses and friends with alleged mob ties. "They are shaking the trees to find out who the leakers are," said the Republican insider.

Outside Mr. Giuliani’s circle, however, the revelations about Mr. Kerik seemed an almost inevitable consequence of his nomination. No secret plotters were required, for example, to make public the open secret of his alleged affair with publisher Judith Regan.

"It shows that you can be the hero of 9/11 until the moment at which you step back into the political arena," said Democratic consultant Howard Wolfson. "Then your 70 percent approval rating doesn’t amount to much anymore."

To some Republicans who are in touch with Mr. Giuliani’s aides, the desperate search for culprits showed just how far—and how quickly—the former Mayor’s fortunes have fallen. Six weeks ago, on the morning after Election Day, Mr. Giuliani was given the high-profile assignment of ushering John Kerry, who hadn’t yet conceded, off the stage. He exuded false sympathy and familiar scorn as he urged the Democrat to give up.

Mr. Giuliani’s performance earned him a lot of chits. He could have spent them on making himself the Homeland Security Secretary, a former White House official said. Instead, he tried to install his former driver in that job, a man whose character—loyal to a fault and just as confident—seemed to mirror that of his boss, down to each man’s quasi-public affair with a woman named Judith (Nathan, in the Mayor’s case; Regan, in Mr. Kerik’s).

"If you only get a few big favors in your life, you better ask for the right ones," said a Republican with ties to the White House. "This was a big ask for Rudy."

Now that Mr. Giuliani’s judgment has been called into question, his new conservative friends don’t seem as faithful as they once did. The White House forgave him officially, but anonymous White House officials engaged in a typically disciplined round of anonymous sniping at the former Mayor.

No Friends of Rudy

Meanwhile, some of Mr. Giuliani’s other apparent allies on the right have turned out to be friends of convenience. Although he campaigned tirelessly for conservative Republican Senate candidates and for George W. Bush, the conservative movement—whose gatekeepers are key to the Republican nomination for President—have little use for him. They apparently view him as a useful tool, and little more.

The roadblocks along Mr. Giuliani’s path toward the Republican Presidential nomination in 2008 began emerging even before the Kerik scandal hit the news, as the former Mayor was finishing up his work as a successful Bush surrogate during the election season.

One moment of truth came in a quiet snub from David Keene, the chairman of the American Conservative Union and a Republican Party gatekeeper, whose annual Conservative Political Action Conference is a prime forum for aspiring Presidential nominees (even, yes, years before the actual election).

Mr. Keene told The Observer that he received "an informal feeler" from a Giuliani aide seeking to place the former New York Mayor as a speaker at the conference.

"I didn’t quite see how he fit in," said Mr. Keene. "He’s a celebrity and he’s got a lot to say, but we’re probably not focused on the issues he’s focused on. We’re focused on small government, taxes."

The basic problem with Mr. Giuliani, said Mr. Keene: "I don’t think he is a conservative."

The emergence of an ugly, colorful scandal involving allegedly mobbed-up contractors, double affairs and what the press called a "secret wife" (that would be No. 3 for Mr. Kerik, tying him with Mr. Giuliani in the multiple-marriage department) comes at a bad time for a Presidential hopeful.

"This kind of stuff as he’s just getting introduced to the Republican primary audience is embarrassing," said Nelson Warfield, a Republican consultant who was an aide to Presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996. "This start of Giuliani’s turn on the national stage looks suspiciously like his run for the U.S. Senate [in 2000], which is remembered by donors and party activists who have this pre-primary primary in which candidates are reviewed and credentialed."

But the Kerik mess revealed a cultural, not political, divide between the rough but forgiving world of city politics and the upright Beltway. Newsweek, for example, led its story about Mr. Kerik’s fall with a lurid, cartoonish scene at the uptown Italian restaurant Rao’s, a colorful little snapshot of what the magazine called "the flashy underside of New York City nightlife," which conjured "mobsters and models and Wall Street masters of the universe."

"It’s a class of cultures," said a former White House official. "There’s almost nobody in that White House who has any experience with the New York Police Department."

And there’s the matter of appearances. One former Giuliani aide winced to see Mr. Kerik give his bleary-eyed, Saturday-morning press conference on the lawn of his garish, million-dollar home in Franklin Lakes, N.J.

"What an idiot, having a press conference on the lawn of that mobster house," the former aide said. "It reinforces everything they think of us—we’re a bunch of mobsters."

And in the week’s single most incongruous moment, a few days later, Mr. Giuliani delivered a line you would never have expected to hear from a man who made his name busting up organized crime. He was talking about Mr. Kerik’s friend, Frank DiTommaso, who runs a company called Interstate Industrial Corp., which city law-enforcement officials believe has ties to organized crime.

"DiTommaso was not convicted of anything," Mr. Giuliani said. While true, and while Mr. DiTommaso denies that his company has mob ties, Mr. Giuliani was a zealous crusader against mobsters and those close to them in the 1980’s. As a prosecutor, he might have made mincemeat of the argument he now gave on behalf of Mr. DiTommaso and, by extension, Mr. Kerik.

Mr. Kerik will soon be a footnote, and Mr. Giuliani’s public star is only slightly dimmed. The fact that most of his Republican critics remain anonymous attests to his power and potential. But any notion that he could be the consensus candidate of the Republican establishment is dead. America’s Mayor, purified by fire, is fading fast, and the public Rudy—who went from crime fighter to troubled mayor to hero to Bush loyalist—needs yet another reinvention.

"That dream of Rudy Giuliani as the man of 2008 was a fantasy created in New York City, and not something that is an accepted reality to anyone who knows the national Republican Party or even Washington Republicans," said the former White House official. "That’s the joke of this."

You may reach Ben Smith via email at: bensmith@observer.com.

COPYRIGHT © 2004
THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Schadenfrau
December 16th, 2004, 12:46 PM
The more I think about it, the more compelling the argument that sniping Kerik benefits Bush becomes. Kudos to your line of thinking.

TomAuch
December 16th, 2004, 05:24 PM
Kerik is...well...a douche and a womanizer. 9/11 was the only thing he had going for him and after three years his car has run out of gas. I'm not sure if this hurts Rudy, but I can see why Bush wouldn't want him to run in 2008 (COUGH!! JEB COUGH!!). I actually want him to be the nominee, because by then 9/11 will be long forgotten, whether or not we have another terrorist attack in NYC (God Forbid of course). Giulani will piss off so many of those "moral values" Evangelicals that they could end up going 3rd party or stay home and be disillusioned with the GOP.

ZippyTheChimp
November 5th, 2009, 11:34 AM
Remember this guy. He'll be in an even bigger house now, but with a lot of roomies.

November 5, 2009


Kerik Expected to Accept
Prison Term in Corruption Case

By SAM DOLNICK and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM

Bernard B. Kerik, New York City’s former police commissioner, is expected to plead guilty on Thursday to a single conspiracy charge in an agreement that would resolve the three pending federal criminal trials he faces in New York and Washington, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. The deal, they say, could send him to jail for almost three years.

The prosecution and the defense will most likely recommend a sentence of 27 to 33 months if Mr. Kerik admits that he deprived the public of his honest services as a government official when he allowed a New Jersey contractor seeking a city license to pay for most of the renovations to his Bronx apartment, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been completed.

Mr. Kerik was expected to enter his plea before Judge Stephen C. Robinson of Federal District Court in White Plains on Thursday morning. If Judge Robinson accepts the plea agreement, it will be up to him to mete out a sentence to Mr. Kerik at a later hearing.

If convicted of the most serious charges, Mr. Kerik, 54, faced up to 20 years in prison, though the sentence would have likely been less than that.

The plea would be the latest twist in an epic fall for Mr. Kerik, who rose from police detective to briefly become the Bush administration’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Kerik’s lawyers, Barry H. Berke and Michael F. Bachner, did not respond to requests for comment. Spokesmen for the United States attorney’s office declined to comment.

The case against Mr. Kerik centered on claims that a construction company, Interstate Industrial Corporation, which has been accused of having ties to organized crime, paid for about $255,000 in renovation work at Mr. Kerik’s apartment in Riverdale while Mr. Kerik helped a related company in its ultimately unsuccessful effort to obtain a city license.

City contracts with Interstate totaling $85 million were suspended in 2000, and four years later the company was barred from working for the city, a move that effectively prevented it from winning contracts from other public agencies.

For Mr. Kerik, a burly man with a shaved head who led the Police Department with a swagger, a guilty plea would mark perhaps the lowest point in a dizzying rise and fall.

His climb began as a volunteer bodyguard and chauffeur for Rudolph W. Giuliani in his first race for mayor. After Mr. Giuliani was elected, he appointed Mr. Kerik to a senior position in the Correction Department, where he went on to be commissioner. In 2000, the mayor named Mr. Kerik the city’s 40th police commissioner — despite his lack of a college degree, then a department requirement for sergeants and above — and he led the Police Department through the 9/11 attacks.

President George W. Bush, who met Mr. Kerik at the rubble of the World Trade Center and hailed him as a hero, tapped him as his top choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. The bid quickly collapsed as Mr. Kerik withdrew his name, citing unpaid taxes for his family’s nanny, and more serious allegations began to surface.

Judge Robinson, who would preside over Mr. Kerik’s two New York trials, made no secret of his disapproval of Mr. Kerik’s conduct in recent months. Saying Mr. Kerik had leaked sealed information in an apparent attempt to generate public sympathy before the trial, Judge Robinson revoked his $500,000 bail on Oct. 20 and sent him to jail, calling him a “toxic combination of self-minded focus and arrogance.”

Mr. Kerik has apparently had a hard time during his two weeks at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla, where he was segregated from the general population because of his law enforcement background.

On Oct. 22, he checked himself into the jail’s psychiatric unit, where he was observed and tested for stress. He was released from the unit 10 days later after jail officials deemed him psychologically stable.

The federal trial was scheduled to begin more than three years after Mr. Kerik pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to two misdemeanors tied to the renovation of his apartment. In that case, he admitted to accepting gifts in 1999 and in 2000 from Interstate; he said he also spoke to city officials about the firm and, “thinking they were clean,” allowed Interstate officials to meet with government authorities in his office. Interstate has long denied that it has links to organized crime. He avoided jail time in that plea but agreed to pay $221,000 in fines and penalties.

While Mr. Kerik’s streetwise charm helped him forge connections with New York’s elite, his downfall has had reverberations far beyond his own career. His legal troubles hung like a cloud over the 2008 presidential run of Mr. Giuliani, who admitted in the campaign that he had “made a mistake in recommending Bernie Kerik to the president.”

Jeanine F. Pirro, the former Westchester district attorney, acknowledged during her unsuccessful 2006 bid for state attorney general that she was the subject of a federal inquiry into her conversations with Mr. Kerik, a friend. Ms. Pirro and Mr. Kerik had apparently discussed secretly taping her husband to find out whether he was having an affair.

Besides the corruption trial, scheduled to begin Monday, Mr. Kerik faces a second federal trial, on charges that he failed to report more than $500,000 in income while in charge of the Correction and Police Departments. In the third case, he is accused of providing false information while being considered for the nomination as secretary of Homeland Security. The plea deal would address all federal charges against Mr. Kerik.


Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

OmegaNYC
November 5th, 2009, 12:02 PM
President George W. Bush, who met Mr. Kerik at the rubble of the World Trade Center and hailed him as a hero, tapped him as his top choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. The bid quickly collapsed as Mr. Kerik withdrew his name, citing unpaid taxes for his family’s nanny, and more serious allegations began to surface.



Heh. Who would of thought, a crook would led to a downfall of another crook? God, got a sense of humor, all right.