Bernie Kerik indicted!
Wait a minute, you say. Is this about the thing with his nanny? No. The thing where he conspired with Jeanine Pirro, Hillary Clinton's one-time Republican opponent for the Senate, to illegally spy on her own husband to catch him cheating? No again. So it's about the dozens of illegal gifts Kerik accepted from his friend, Lawrence Ray, while head of the New York Police Department and the city's Department of Corrections. Sort of.
Granted, it's hard to keep it all straight. But the indictment, expected to be unsealed today, reportedly concentrates on just two of Bernie Kerik's bad choices.
The first was to let Interstate Industrial Corporation, a construction company with alleged ties to the Gambino crime family, pay $165,000 to renovate his apartment. At the time, 1999, Kerik was New York City's corrections commissioner. Interstate also had Kerik's brother and the aforementioned Lawrence Ray, who was best man at Kerik's wedding, on the payroll. And coincidentally, Interstate was vying for business with the city. Although Interstate didn't end up getting that contract, Kerik did manage to vouch for the company to city investigators, telling them that Interstate was clean of mob ties. He failed to mention, however, that the company was paying for his apartment job.
The second bad decision was to accept $200,000 in rent from one of the city's biggest real estate developers, Steve Witkoff (who, by the way, owns my favorite NYC building, the Woolworth). Kerik let Witkoff pay the $9,000 in monthly rent for his Upper East Side digs around the time he left city government, but kept the whole thing off the books. (The feds apparently will not accuse Witkoff of wrongdoing.)
The rest of the charges in the indictment you can call fallout from those bad choices. He did not report either substantial sums of money when it came time to pay taxes. And he for some reason neglected to mention them on his 2004 application to run the Department of Homeland Security.
We'll get a copy of the indictment itself when it's available. For now, contemplate just how bad of a decision it was for Rudy Guiliani to recommend Kerik for the jobs of NYC's top cop, and then head of DHS.
Update/Correction: Actually, the nanny does appear to have made her way into the indictment.