Grand Jury to Vote on Possible Indictment of former NYPD Commissioner Kerik

MJMANDALAY

Registered User
Jan 26, 2005
13,145
1
0
#1
NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- A federal investigation of Bernard Kerik, the former law enforcement heavyweight and protege of presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, appears to be drawing to a close with a possible indictment.

A grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the case for several months was expected to vote on Thursday on whether to indict Kerik, a federal law enforcement official said Wednesday.

If an indictment on tax evasion and other charges is handed up, Kerik would surrender Friday for arraignment in White Plains, N.Y., said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the grand jury had not taken action.

Asked Wednesday whether an indictment of Kerik was imminent, defense attorney Kenneth Breen said, "I haven't been told one way or the other.''

U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia's spokeswoman Yusill Scribner declined comment.

The investigation of Kerik stemmed from a $240,000 renovation of his Bronx apartment in 1999. Authorities alleged most of the makeover was paid for by mob-connected builders who sought his help winning city contracts -- a charge he denied until a misdemeanor guilty plea in state court last year that spared him jail time and preserved his career as a security consultant.

Before the apartment scandal broke, Giuliani had endorsed his old friend and former police commissioner's nomination in 2004 to head the Department of Homeland Security. But only days after President Bush introduced Kerik as his nominee, Kerik announced he was withdrawing his name because of tax issues involving his former nanny.

A federal indictment of Kerik would cause a major headache for Giuliani as the first presidential primaries draw near. Giuliani frequently says that he made a mistake in recommending Kerik to be Homeland Security chief, but that might not be enough to avoid the political damage of a drawn-out criminal case involving his former loyalist.

Giuliani, in an interview earlier this week with The Associated Press, argued that Kerik's woes shouldn't overshadow his administration's crime-fighting record.

"There were mistakes made with Bernie Kerik,'' Giuliani said. "But what's the ultimate result for the people of New York City? The ultimate result for the people of New York City was a 74 percent reduction in shootings, a 60 percent reduction in crime. ... Sure, there were issues, but if I have the same degree of success and failure as president of the United States, this country will be in great shape.''
 

MJMANDALAY

Registered User
Jan 26, 2005
13,145
1
0
#2
Kerik to Be Arraigned on Criminal Charges Friday


NEW YORK (AP) -- He was a former undercover police officer with a bodybuilder's physique and a knack for charming people in high places such as Rudy Giuliani and even President Bush. But since his meteoric rise, Bernard Kerik has turned radioactive.

In the past three years, a string of revelations about Kerik's personal and professional improprieties have embarrassed his supporters and fueled criminal prosecutions -- including an investigation into tax evasion and corruption charges.

On Thursday, a federal law enforcement official said Kerik will surrender Friday to federal authorities in White Plains to be arraigned on criminal charges in connection with the investigation. He didn't disclose the specific charges; Kerik's attorney, Kenneth Breen, didn't immediately return calls for comment.

Authorities have alleged that Kerik took tens of thousands of dollars in services from benefactors and never reported it as income. Earlier this year, he rejected a plea deal, and his attorney insisted he had done nothing wrong.

An indictment would be the latest chapter of a downfall that began within days of Kerik's nomination in 2004 to head the Department of Homeland Security. At the time, he was billed by the former mayor as a no-nonsense, self-made lawman who helped restore calm following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

But the nomination was confronted with news reports about stock-option windfalls, his connections with people suspected of doing business with the mob and overlapping extramarital affairs with two women: Judith Regan, the publisher of his memoir, and a city correction officer. The liaisons reportedly occurred in an apartment near ground zero that had been set aside for rescue workers.

Kerik, 51, who married his current wife in 1998 and has two children with her, apparently became close with Regan while writing "The Lost Son,'' in which he described being abandoned by his prostitute mother.

Kerik rose from cop to Giuliani's correction commissioner in the late 1990s. From there, he became police commissioner and later went to work in Iraq rebuilding the country's police force.

But his past troubles never seemed far behind. Kerik had committed to work as a national security adviser in Guyana and Trinidad, but had to pull out. The president of Guyana said he did not want either country ``tainted'' by the corruption allegations in the U.S.

And then there was the failed Homeland Security nomination. Democrats who opposed the nomination focused on Kerik's recent windfall from exercising stock options in a stun-gun company that did business with the department. His take: $6.2 million.

Kerik sought to spare the White House and Giuliani further shame by withdrawing his name. But by then, state investigators were already aware of the expensive renovations done to his Bronx apartment in 1999, including built-in cabinets and a rotunda with a marble entryway. They alleged the work was paid for by Mafia-connected builders who sought his help winning city contracts.

Giuliani was forced to testify before a state grand jury in a case that resulted in Kerik pleading guilty last year to accepting illegal gifts while on the city payroll. The plea spared Kerik jail time and preserved his new career as a security consultant, but his name was quietly removed from a downtown jail named in his honor.

The state case isn't over: Two brothers who run the construction firm have pleaded not guilty to charges they lied to the grand jury about their relationship with Kerik.

In the past 18 months, a federal grand jury took up the tax case, quizzing another parade of witnesses. They included a commercial real estate developer who picked up the $9,000-a-month tab for a luxury Upper East Side apartment that Kerik lived in around the time he left the police department in 2001.

The federal case also involved allegations that former Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro tried to recruit Kerik to eavesdrop on her husband, whom she suspected of having an affair, in 2005. But authorities have indicated that no charges would arise from the encounter.