JUNE 30, 2006
When New York’s former police commissioner withdrew his nomination for secretary of Homeland Security in 2004, his ethics were heavily questioned though he repeatedly denied wrongdoing and instead blamed the sudden discovery of having hired an illegal immigrant nanny for the withdraw. Now Bernard Kerik is admitting his corrupt past and rampant ethics violations as the Big Apple’s top cop.
Kerik pleaded guilty today to charges of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts while he was a top city official. As a result, he basically got a tiny slap on the wrist. Kerik was convicted of two misdemeanors, spared jail time and ordered to pay a few hundred thousand dollars in fines. That means his high-paying job as a security consultant in the Middle East will go uninterrupted.
Kerik admitted accepting $165,000 worth of renovations on his Bronx apartment from a mob-linked New Jersey construction firm attempting to do business with the city. Kerik had previously denied any wrongdoing and always maintained that he paid every bill for the job.
The media always questioned the so-called nanny excuse for bowing out as the guy to replace Tom Ridge as Homeland Security secretary. One report called him a hard-charging police commissioner dogged by minor scandals.
There were other well-documented problems in Kerik’s past. Besides becoming a multimillionaire as a result of a lucrative partnership with former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Kerik sealed a variety of questionable deals while heading the city’s police department.
For instance, he was named director of a stun-gun manufacturer immediately after signing a lucrative deal with the Arizona company as NYPD chief. Another questionable deal featured the no-bid, $50,000 purchase of doors that couldn’t even be used. Kerik was named an advisor for the door company soon after the deal.
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