Thursday, June 4, 2009
The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik
Indicted In False Statements Case In District Of Columbia
LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that BERNARD KERIK, a former New York City Police Commissioner and Commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections, was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia on charges of making false statements to White House officials during his vetting for the position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security. According to the Indictment: KERIK, in 1999 and 2000--when he was the New York City Commissioner of Corrections and then the City’s Police Commissioner--spoke to City regulators on behalf of contractors who were seeking one or more permits to do business in and with the City. The contractors then spent more than $255,000 renovating KERIK’s apartment in Riverdale, New York. Thereafter, in 2004, when KERIK was under consideration by the White House for the
position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security, KERIK gave false and misleading answers to questions by White House officials about his relationship with the contractors.
In particular, and among other things, the Indictment alleges that KERIK falsely denied that there was any possible concern the President should have about KERIK’s relationship with the contractors, and that as a public official he had had any financial dealings with individuals seeking to do business with the City; and that KERIK sent an e-mail to a White House official containing false and misleading statements concerning the renovations to the apartment in Riverdale.
Charges similar to those in today’s indictment were initially brought as part of an indictment returned in the Southern District of New York in November 2007 but were dismissed from that indictment because the crimes are alleged to have occurred in the District of Columbia and not in the Southern District of New York.
If convicted, KERIK faces a maximum prison sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each of the two false statement charges in the Indictment.
Mr. DASSIN praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service for their
efforts during the investigation, and thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for its assistance in the transfer of this matter.
Assistant United States Attorneys ELLIOTT B. JACOBSON and MICHAEL S. BOSWORTH are in charge of the prosecution and have been designated as Special Assistant United States Attorneys in the District of Columbia for the purpose of prosecuting this Indictment.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.