Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Advocate
Richard Blassberg

Too Big For Their Britches

In the summer of 2002, The National Enquirer brought out a commemorative magazine to mark the first anniversary of 9/11. The publication, essentially an opportunity for politicians and other not-so-recognizable individuals, to garner sympathy and accolades for their supposed roles immediately following the destruction of the World Trade Center, sold for $5.95 on some newsstands, and was not a big seller.

In it, Jeanine Pirro, still District Attorney of Westchester, but somewhat dented by Tony Castro’s near-miss a year earlier and Al’s imprisonment for their joint tenyear tax fraud, took the opportunity in her usual sociopathic fashion, to concoct a mostly fictitious story about having “stuck by her station”, working as a dedicated public servant on September 11, 2001, well into the night, even though her daughter, Christine, a student at the Rye Country Day School, was supposedly on a school trip, not merely to Washington, D.C., but to the Pentagon, of all places.

In point of fact, Christine Pirro was on a trip to Washington, D.C. with 92 other students, including the twins of headmaster Scott Nelson as well as 12 chaperones. In point of fact, they never got further south than Delaware, and were in no danger at any time. And, the Pentagon was not their destination.

In Pirro’s fiction, she made it appear that all day long, and into the evening of September 11, 2001, she had no knowledge of whether her daughter and some 100 youngsters and chaperones, were safe, or possibly at the Pentagon when it was struck by one of the terrorist-commandeered planes; but, nevertheless, diligently provided
constituent services and assistance. She told the writer of the fluff piece that she had no knowledge of her daughter’s circumstances until she “reached her friend, Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik”, who got back to her and assured her the kids were all okay.

That totally fictitious piece made one fact very clear as early as the summer of 2002. Jeanine Pirro knew she could tell a huge, preposterous lie and Bernie Kerik would swear to it. Judith Regan was likely not the only woman Kerik was entertaining in that Battery Park apartment intended as a resting place for World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers.

Why wouldn’t Jeanine and Bernie have a special relationship? After all, they shared so much in common. Each was a larger-than-life law enforcement icon. Each had mastered the art of self-promotion, rising to the heights of celebrity, aiming for higher, possibly federal, office; neither worried about the innocent victims they rolled over to get to where they needed to go. They were untouchable!

In 2004, D.A. Pirro steered $47,000-worth of business to Bernie Kerik and his partner, Rudy Giuliani, engaged in the security business. Pirro, as a plea-bargained condition, compelled the A&P Supermarket chain which had had several sales of alcohol to minors, to give a no-bid contract to Kerik and Giuliani’s company for acting
as a Private Sector Inspector General, commissioned to monitor the food giant’s policies for restricting the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors.

Following his arraignment, two weeks ago, on a 16-count federal indictment, Kerik’s appearance and statement outside the Federal Courthouse in White Plains, was very reminiscent of Jeanine’s, at the time of her husband Al’s trial for their joint massive tax fraud in June of 2000. Each attacked the United States Attorney: Pirro
castigating MaryJo White for bringing a case against her husband, and Bernie expressing his “disappointment” with Michael Garcia for bringing the case against him.

Each is arrogant, believing they are above the law. Kerik’s expression of “disappointment” that the United States Attorney had “decided to go forward,” in light of the seriousness of his crimes, suggests that he thought he qualified for special treatment.

Rudy Giuliani is another former law enforcer who believes he is above the law. Like Kerik and Pirro, he, too, believes that all of the hype and celebrity immunizes them from the necessity to comply with the law, and from any consequences should they be caught violating it. Consider Giuliani’s remark following Kerik’s arraignment:

“Any mistakes Mr. Kerik made were outweighed by his successes in fighting crime.” Mistakes? The word ‘mistakes’ cannot be substituted for the word ‘crimes’ except in the minds of people who believe that they are not subject to the consequences of breaking the law. And, while it is true that breaking the law is probably always a mistake, mere admission of having made a mistake does not absolve a lawbreaker from the lawful consequences, the prescribed punishment the lawbreaker was aware of when he elected to violate the law.
Bernie Kerik, 52, is a classic “bad boy”, both in his professional and personal dealings, but one whose charm and larger-than-life persona have gotten him entry where few individuals with so little in the way of formal education and a relatively brief, if somewhat highly touted, history as a New York City police officer, would have gone. His flamboyant lifestyle and his need for cash to support that persona made him very vulnerable, personally
too needy, and all too willing to trade on his position and his contacts.

Loans and renovations amounting to more than a quarter of a million dollars compromised his and the interests of the people he was sworn to protect. Much like his buddies, Jeanine Pirro and Rudy Giuliani, he was, and still is, all about himself.

In reality, Kerik has gone through an awful lot of money. As an employee/partner of Giuliani’s security enterprise, Kerik earned $500,000/year. As a member of the board of directors at Taser International, he made more than $5 million selling stock options in the firm. Now, he is publicly pleading for donations to his Legal Defense Fund. How does he believe he is perceived? Does he not realize that he is now seen for the common criminal that he truly is?

At the press conference, held by United States Attorney Michael J. Garcia, moments prior to Kerik’s arraignment, I asked Mr. Garcia, “Given that the locus of the crimes that Mr. Kerik is charged with was in New York City and places south of here (White Plains) and yet the indictment was handed up by a grand jury in White Plains, is it reasonable to assume that there is some nexus, some connection, with Jeanine Pirro and his contacts with her?”

Mr. Garcia responded, “No assumption can be drawn from that fact. We are opening this sealed indictment at this time.”

That answer, with the emphasis on the word ‘this’, spoke volumes to all who heard it, and who understand the nature of the dance between a defendant, such as Jeanine Pirro, and federal prosecutors.

Assistant District Attorney David Cardona said it all with, “The only acceptable level of corruption in a public official is zero.”

Ironically, those crimes for which Jeanine Pirro has, no doubt, already been indicted, notwithstanding her once chief detractor, now turned defense attorney, William Aaronwald’s protestations to the contrary, will not, when revealed, be the offenses for which she most deserves to go to prison. Those evil misdeeds for which Jeanine Pirro needs most to serve time in prison, involve her multiple acts of prosecutorial misconduct, including, but not limited to: the subornation of perjury, the intimidation and twisting of witnesses, and the tampering with evidence, not to mention the constant withholding of Brady material in scores of malicious, self-promoting, prosecutions of
innocent individuals merely because she could; and, because dozens of assistant DAs in her office were willing to sell their souls for two pay checks a month.

United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Calabresi said of her misconduct in the Anthony DiSimone case that involved 376 pages and 52 boxes of exculpatory information, “In 12 years, on this Court, I have never seen such a Brady violation.”

Federal prosecutors need to understand that we are speaking about Jeanine Pirro, a district attorney whose knowing prosecutorial misconduct arranged for the kidnapping of Jing Kelly’s infant son; sent a 12-year New York City Transit Police Officer to prison for 20-years-to-life for saving his father’s life from a bat-wielding
assailant; sent a school teacher to prison for a juvenile sodomy that never occurred; sent a New Rochelle police officer to prison for eight years for a robbery and assault during which he was asleep; and who, no fewer than six times, prevented Jeffrey Deskovic from leaving prison for a crime she knew conclusively he didn’t commit; merely a few of the scores of cruel and intentional injustices and violations of human rights that remain unrectified in the wake of her 12-year Reign of Terror.

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