Last week, the Bernie Kerik Legal Defense Trust held a $75-a-plate-minimum beefsteak dinner in honor of the man himself.
First, a quick reminder of why the former New York City Police Commissioner needs the money:
Kerik became mired in muck in late 2004 after President Bush unsuccessfully nominated him to be Homeland Security Secretary. The national scrutiny helped to result in a 16-count indictment
filed late last year, for charges
that included lying to White House officials during the nomination process, accepting mob-tied money for renovations to his apartment, and tax fraud. Last Friday, federal prosecutors accused
him of having embarked on a "crime spree." His trial begins in January.
The beefsteak dinner fundraiser, which attracted 200 people to Kerik's hometown of Paterson, NJ, was detailed
by The New Yorker
, which described "thick-necked" men tucking into their steaks. The program celebrated both Kerik's Jersey roots and his now infamous New York career. It culminated in a fifteen minute long "soundtrack of strings and bagpipes...as a video of still images from the World Trade Center site played--like an extended Giuliani campaign commercial."
And it looks like Kerik's colorful personal life
apparently hasn't alienated some members of the religious community. The magazine reports:
"...Monsignor David Cassato, an N.Y.P.D. chaplain, had made the trip from Bensonhurst to offer a blessing. "Tonight, I was supposed to meet Cardinal Martino," Cassato said. "He lives in Rome, and he's very, very close to our Holy Father. I got a call and they said, 'There's this function going on for Bernie.' I said, 'I'm skipping the Cardinal and I'm coming.'"
Kerik ended the night with a speech met by a standing ovation.