Kerik Is Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison in Corruption Case
By SAM DOLNICK
WHITE PLAINS — Bernard B. Kerik, a former New York police commissioner who rose to national prominence, was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to eight felony charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials.
The sentencing was the end of a legal saga in which federal prosecutors denounced Mr. Kerik, a former detective who rose to the upper echelons of power, as a corrupt official who sought to trade his authority for lavish perks.
Under the terms of a plea agreement reached in November on the eve of his trial, the prosecution and the defense recommended that Judge Stephen C. Robinson sentence Mr. Kerik to 27 to 33 months in prison. But the judge departed from the sentencing recommendations, giving Mr. Kerik a longer sentence.
Mr. Kerik has awaited sentencing under strict house arrest at his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J.
Mr. Kerik’s prison sentence is set to begin immediately. It follows a fall from a rarefied perch where he wielded power with a signature mix of brash confidence and tough-guy charm.
He was a close ally of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, whom he served as a bodyguard and driver. Mr. Giuliani then tapped him for a senior position in the Correction Department, and he went on to become the agency’s commissioner. As testament to his clout, Mr. Kerik had a jail named after him in downtown Manhattan. (The name has since been changed.)
Mr. Kerik later served as police commissioner, and his performance during after 9/11 attacks turned him into a national figure, earning him the respect of President George W. Bush, who nominated him to lead the Department of Homeland Security. That bid quickly collapsed in scandal, marking the beginning of the end of Mr. Kerik’s career.
The case against Mr. Kerik centered on charges that a New Jersey construction company, the Interstate Industrial Corporation, which was suspected of ties to organized crime, had paid for renovations at Mr. Kerik’s home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Prosecutors said company officials had hoped Mr. Kerik would help them obtain a city license.
In addition to pleading guilty to two counts of tax fraud and one count of making a false statement on a loan application, Mr. Kerik also pleaded guilty to five counts of making false statements to the federal government while being vetted for senior posts.
Prosecutors had called for Judge Robinson to make an example out of Mr. Kerik, and to punish him for his “egotism and hubris.”
Mr. Kerik’s lawyer, Michael F. Bachner, had asked the judge for leniency, citing his years of public service, and the dozens of letters of support written by family members, former colleagues in the Police Department, and even strangers who said they admired Mr. Kerik’s bravery.
Well...so much for that schmuck.