Ex-NYC Police Commissioner Kerik Pleads Guilty


kerikFormer New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has pleaded guilty to lying to the White House and says he’ll also admit tax crimes. Kerik made his first of an expected eight pleas a short while ago. The plea bargain includes the prosecution’s suggestion that the crimes are punishable by 27 to 33 months in prison. Today’s pleads were designed to resolve three pending federal criminal trials.Kerik nearly became the U.S. Homeland Security chief in 2004. The lies to the White House occurred during the Homeland Security vetting process.

As commissioner, Kerik won praise nationwide for his steadiness after 9/11.

The first of his trials had been scheduled to start Monday in White Plains, N.Y.

The plea deal could send Kerik to prison for about 2 1/2 years.

Kerik, 54, originally pleaded not guilty. He pledged to fight the charges when he was indicted two years ago and he appeared determined until last month, when he was suddenly jailed for sharing secret pretrial information.

Kerik spent 10 days in the jail’s psychiatric unit because of stress.

In the first trial, which had been scheduled to begin Monday in White Plains, Kerik was accused of accepting renovations to his co-op apartment in exchange for recommending a company that was looking to do business with New York City.

Kerik also faced a second trial in White Plains on various tax charges. The third case, in Washington, accused him of lying to the White House during his Homeland Security vetting.

The case was an embarrassment to Kerik’s mentor, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was running for president when Kerik was charged. Giuliani, a Republican, had named Kerik police commissioner, had gone into private business with him and had pushed President George W. Bush to nominate him to run the Department of Homeland Security.

Bush nominated Kerik in December 2004. Kerik withdrew his name a week later, citing immigration and tax issues over a former nanny.

{AP/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}