Friday, June 30, 2006

Kerik Pleads Guilty

From the NY Times:

Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, pleaded guilty today to two misdemeanor charges as the result of accepting tens of thousands of dollars of gifts and a loan while he was a city official in the late 1990's.

He entered the pleas, one to a violation of the city charter and the other of the city administrative code, in a Bronx courtroom before Justice John P. Collins and was sentenced to a total of $221,000 in fines. He was accompanied by three lawyers and three supporters for the proceeding, which lasted about 10 minutes.


City officials insisted that Mr. Kerik received no special treatment. "He was arrested and booked," said Rose Gill Hearn, the city's investigations commissioner. "He was fingerprinted and photographed like every other perp who gets arrested and processed."

One of Mr. Kerik's lawyers, Joseph Tacopina, disputed this account. He said Mr. Kerik was not arrested or processed in central booking like a common criminal. He was instead afforded the opportunity to be processed at the district attorney's office and allowed to walk to court. He was fingerprinted in the executive wing, Mr. Tacopina said.

Robert T. Johnson, the Bronx district attorney, noted that the grand jury considered and rejected more serious charges of bribery. He termed the outcome "fair and just" based on the evidence and circumstances and questions about how the statute of limitations applies to public officials.


Outside the court, Mr. Kerik said he should have been more "focused and sophisticated" in dealing with contractors who worked on his Bronx apartment.

"From this moment on, it's back to work," he said before getting into a black B.M.W. and driving south on the Grand Concourse toward Manhattan

Kerik's going back to work? As what, a two-bit Mafia thug? Now that Kerik's access to power has been pretty much cut off by his criminal past, what the hell else can he do? I would think the appearances on Hardball and The Situation Room are over for now.

BTW, I can't wait to see the Rudy/Bernie stories that start to surface in 2008 as America's mayor runs for president. I bet Bernie isn't the only one with criminal exposure in that duo.

POSTSCIPT: Rudy Giuliani often gets the credit for reducing crime in NYC and two of his crony police commisioners, Howard Safir and Bernie Kerik, often also take credit for the reduction. But the real crime fighter in NYC was Rudy's first police commisioner, William Bratton. Bratton ran the department for just 27 months until Rudy canned him because Bratton was giving too many press conferences at One Police Plaza and ruining Rudy's p.r. game. But felony crime was reduced by 39% and murder by 50% while Bratton ran the NYPD. That's a pretty impressive record and many crime experts credit Bratton's development of CompStat:

CompStat is a multilayered dynamic approach to crime reduction, quality of life improvement and, personnel and resource management. CompStat employs Geographic Information Systems to map crime, detect patterns, hot spots, and identify problems. In weekly meetings, ranking NYPD executives meet with local precinct commanders from one of the eight patrol boroughs in New York City to discuss the problems. They devise strategies and tactics to solve problems, reduce crime, and ultimately improve quality of life in their assigned area.

It's a shame Rudy won't share the credit with Bratton for the initial reduction of crime in NYC. But that's Rudy for you. If you kiss his ass, the way Safir and Kerik did, you're all right (even if you're a crook like Bernie.) But if you steal the spotlight from Rudy, you'd better watch out...

Funny, in my normal coveage of corruption over at GP Daily I kept overlooking this one.
Not sure why, it really has potential to go a lot further given his ties.
THere is something strange about the case that I just can't get a handle on. But then I'm not a New Yorker :)
I don't think Rudy can overcome the scrutiny of being a presidential candidate.

Do you remember when he went to court to demand the right to bring his mistress to the home he was sharing with his sife and two young children?

But also, his social positions would freak out a lot of the bible-thumpers, some, of my personal acquaintance, have actually caught on to the Bush lie machine.
cartledge, look into Kerik and Rudy for your corruption site. I'd love to see what you come up with.

nyc, I agree that Rudy probably can't get through the GOP primaries once they learn his social issue stances. I'm not so sure about the infidelity thing though. I think of the current crop of possible GOP candidates for 2008, McCain, Rudy, and Newt are all adulterers and divorcees. Yet apparently only the Clintons marriage seems to interest people!
Well, you're right, but Rudy's behavior was particularly outrageous, making lying look, relatively, like a good thing.

You're also correct, though, that the media may choose to ignore it. They've done so fairly consistently since 9/11, in fact.
America's mayor should be allowed to blow off steam, you know? So what if he wants to bring the girlfriend back to the house where his wife and kids are to schtup her - he needs to blow off stress!
Well why not? He certainly blew off the teachers, the police, and the firefighters.
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