November 9th, 2007
08:15 AM ET
11 years ago

Sources: Grand jury indicts ex-N.Y. police commissioner Kerik

Rudy Giuliani and Bernard Kerik prepared for a press conference in November 2001.

(CNN) - A year after admitting to misdemeanor charges of financial impropriety, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik faces new charges from a federal grand jury, sources familiar with the investigation said Thursday.

A sealed indictment against Kerik is expected to be unsealed on Friday, two sources familiar with the probe told CNN. No details of the charges involved were immediately available, but sources said earlier this week that prosecutors had been looking into allegations including bribery and tax evasion.

Kerik, 52, is a longtime friend and former protege of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now the Republican presidential front-runner in national polls. He was frequently by Giuliani's side in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, and his role as the city's police commissioner propelled him into the national spotlight.

With Giuliani's backing, President Bush nominated Kerik to be secretary of homeland security after winning re-election in 2004. But Kerik withdrew his name from consideration that December amid allegations that he employed a nanny who had questionable immigration status.

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson then began investigating allegations that Kerik had traded payment on repairs to his Bronx apartment for favors, including city contracts. The ex-chief pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts while he worked as city corrections commissioner. He was fined $221,000 and avoided jail time under his plea agreement.

Giuliani, now the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, called his earlier patronage of Kerik "a mistake" during a campaign stop in Iowa on Thursday.

"I made a mistake in not clearing him effectively enough, and I take the responsibility for that," Giuliani told reporters at a campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa. But he added that voters who look at his record as a prosecutor and mayor will decide, "If he makes the same balance of right decisions and incorrect decisions as president, the country would be in pretty good shape."

Kerik served as Giuliani's driver during his 1993 mayoral campaign. Giuliani later named him the city's corrections commissioner and police chief; made him a senior executive of the management consulting firm Giuliani founded after leaving office; and was a leading advocate for having Kerik named to the homeland security post.

GOP strategist David Winston said Kerik's indictment will be a test of how well the Giuliani campaign responds to "something that was clearly going to happen."

"Questions about Kerik have been stirring ever since the short nomination process for homeland security," Winston told CNN.

Before tapping Kerik for a Cabinet post, Bush also dispatched him to Baghdad to train Iraqi police after the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. He left three months into an expected six-month stint, with Iraqi officials telling reporters that he had completed his assignment.

In 2004, he campaigned for Bush's re-election effort, making a speech at the GOP national convention in New York.

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Maddoxx, NY,NY

    I think Guiliani should be investigated too. I smell something fishy between the two of them.

    November 9, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Mike ,Panama City,Fl


    You are so delusional hypocrite , This only tells me that it was a poor decision by rudy , nobody is doing nothing to him , he did it all to himself .

    November 9, 2007 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. George, Billerica, Mass.

    Jack Cafferty tried to excuse Mr. Giuliani last night, saying that Kerik is just one of thousands of appointees. This wasn't dog catcher, or chief parking meter inspector. This was police commissioner, and he has probable ties to the mafia, who are murderers and crooks period. Time we have a no-tolerance policy with all people who break the law, not just illegal immigrants. Any association with the mob should be considered a "third rail" in politics. No ifs, ands, or buts. I could never trust a public servant who ever put into a position of power someone who even had a hint of mob connection. Giuliani's appointment and continued promotion of Kerik was exactly the same as what Bush has done: promoting all his friends and supporters, even if they're crooked or incompetent.
    One more whiff of this, and Giuliani's campaign should be finished.

    November 9, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. David, Dallas Tx

    They say you can judge a man based on those with whom he associates....

    Giuliani seems to have some very colorful characters in his circles.

    November 9, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I like the left....its like they know everything....or just make stuff up and pretend they have some "inside knowledge" – yet...they don't – Giuliani will he is the ONLY moderate running...with 70% of the country stating they would describe themselves as "moderate" – he is a shoe in....all the other Republicans are right wingers....and all the Dems are left...far left...and one socialist – pretty easy call....well..when you get beyond the baseless rhetoric

    November 9, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Frankie

    How damaging do you think Kerik's indictment is to Rudy Giuliani's Presidential campaign?

    November 10, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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