11/20/2005

TalkLeft: Bernie Kerik's Misconduct Allegation

Back when Bernie Kerik withdrew as Bush's nominee for Homeland Security Chief, there were allegations of misconduct.

The New York Times today reports:

New Jersey officials said yesterday that Bernard B. Kerik abused his position as New York City correction commissioner in the late 1990's by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from a construction company that he was helping to pursue business with the city. They say the company has long had ties to organized crime.

After Kerik withdrew his name from consideration for HSC Chief, the New Jersey Gaming Commission began an investigation.

The agency is seeking to keep the construction company, Interstate Industrial Corporation, from doing work on Atlantic City casinos and became interested in Mr. Kerik's role with the company when the ties were disclosed after his nomination failed. The agency officials said yesterday that Interstate paid another contractor for renovations worth more than $200,000 made to Mr. Kerik's apartment in the Riverdale section of the Bronx in 1999 and 2000.

The agency has now concluded the investigation and concluded that Kerik engaged in misconduct. Kerik was called as a witness in the Gaming Commission's investigation and took the Fifth Amendment on several questions.

Among the questions he would not answer was whether Frank DiTommaso ever gave him money or anything of value on behalf of Interstate or whether Mr. DiTommaso ever asked him to take any action on behalf of Interstate, the court papers said.

The Gaming Commission reports:

"By directly and indirectly conferring money or other things of value on Kerik during a period in which Kerik was a high-ranking public official of New York City and was in a position to - and did - provide assistance to Interstate, the DiTommasos and Interstate attempted to influence Kerik in the performance or violation of his official duties," the papers said.

So, why is this of interest? Because it could come back to haunt Kerik's "rabbi," Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani called the White House endorsing Kerik, and while Kerik has said Rudy may not have been responsible for the nomination, others have said differently.

TalkLeft: Bernie Kerik's Misconduct Allegation

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