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Jailed New York City's former police chief Bernard Kerik is in a psychiatric unit and on s

by Michael Webster Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009 at 11:07 AM
mvwsr@aol.com 949 494-7121

Kerik is displaying worrisome, risky behavior in jail, a federal judge said Friday after speaking with the jail's psychiatric director



 

By Michael Webster: Syndicated Investigative Reporter. Oct 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM PDT

Former New York commissioner and police chief, Bernard Kerik who was hailed a hero after the September 11 2001 attacks, was jailed on Oct 20, 2009, a federal judge revoked his bail ahead of a corruption trial that was set for Nov 9, 2009. Sources close to the case told this reporter that Kerik is in a psychiatric unit and on a suicide watch and most likely will not be able to make the court date.

Kerik is displaying worrisome, risky behavior in jail, a federal judge said Friday after speaking with the jail's psychiatric director.

Judge Stephen Robinson said the pretrial session Friday in U.S. District Court that he received a memo from Dr. Robert Mahler, medical psychiatric director of the Westchester County jail in Valhalla, then spoke with the doctor by phone. The doctor reportedly said Kerik, 54, was "at risk."

He said Mahler felt there was more behind Kerik's problem than just the normal stress of incarceration. Kerik has been jailed since Oct. 20 to await trial on corruption charges.

"There were things, unexplained, described to me that were either said or done ... that raised the level of concern," the judge said. "I left the conversation with Dr. Mahler feeling this was an issue that cannot be ignored."

The judge also expressed doubt that Kerik's trial could still begin Nov. 9

Bernard Kerik, a prostitute’s son once nominated to become America’s homeland security chief, by Former President George W. Bush found himself behind bars after a New York judge revoked his 0,000 bail pending his corruption charges.

Kerik is accused of secretly accepting more than 0,000 in renovations to his apartment from a construction firm with suspected mafia ties while he was Corrections Department commissioner under Giuliani.

Kerik, who pleaded guilty in a state court last year to accepting the work, is also accused of not declaring a total of 6,000 in rent he received on an luxury apartment in New York's posh Upper East Side.

Other payments allegedly not declared include a total of 0,000 received from a software company and a book publisher.

He is also accused of making false statements at the time he was being considered as head of the US Department of Homeland Security in 2004.

His career began to unravel when President Bush nominated him to become Homeland Security Secretary in 2004.

His nomination was derailed by a string of scandals, ranging from tax problems involving a former nanny to his overlapping extramarital affairs with two women at a flat set aside for rescue workers at New York’s “Ground Zero”.

 

Kerik is the first police chief in New York City's history to be thrown into jail.

In a hearing in White Plains, New York, Judge Stephen Robinson said he was revoking the 0,000 bail granted to Kerik, 54, who led the police under the previous administration of then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

The judge said that the former police chief displayed a “toxic combination of self-minded focus and arrogance”. He added: “I fear that confidence leads him to believe that the ends justify the means, that the rules that apply to all don’t necessarily apply to him in the same way.”

Court documents indicated Kerik violated a court order by sharing confidential pre-trial information with a “propagandist” in an effort to discredit the case against him.

A Kerik associate, Anthony Modafferi, who served as trustee of his legal defense fund, had written what the judge described as scurrilous internet articles attacking the prosecutors. He also allegedly e-mailed the Washington Times newspaper confidential information that was under court seal.

“Mr Kerik’s not special,” the judge said. “He thinks he is.”

Kerik abused confidential evidence in the case, Robert Hadad, spokesman for the district attorney's office, said.

"The government made a motion to revoke his bail. After a three-and-a-half hour hearing, the judge agreed to revoke the bail in order for him be sent to jail," Mr. Hadad said.

The former police chief faces 142 years in jail and fines of almost five million dollars if convicted on all the charges.

Kerik, who once served as Giuliani's chauffeur and bodyguard, rose through the ranks of the police department to become police commissioner, enjoying hero status in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Kerik had to be segregated in the Westchester County jail for his own safety. An  interesting turn of events for a man who once ran New York’s prison system as the city’s corrections commissioner — and even has a Manhattan jail named after him.

According to the New York times Mr. Kerik, 54, is a high-school dropout who was raised by his father after his mother abandoned him at the age of 2. He further benefited from a ride on the coat-tails of the former New York Mayor and Republican presidential contender Rudolph Giuliani. He met Mr. Giuliani while a ponytailed undercover narcotics officer at a fundraiser for the family of a murdered policeman.

Mr. Giuliani picked him to become his bodyguard and driver during his 1993 mayoral campaign. When he was elected, Mr. Giuliani named him first as corrections commissioner and, in 2000, as the city’s police chief.

The times reported that when Mr. Giuliani first appointed him, a colleague reportedly remarked: “Congratulations, you’ve just hired Rambo.”

Mr. Kerik won acclaim for his courage when he and Mr. Giuliani narrowly escaped the collapse of the World Trade Centre in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Two months later he published a bestselling memoir, Lost Son, revealing that his prostitute mother had been bludgeoned to death by her pimp when he was 9.

After stepping down as police commissioner when Mr. Giuliani left office at the end of 2001, he served as Iraq’s interim interior minister and survived a bomb plot against him.

Questions were also raised about his windfall .2 million profit from stock options in a stun gun company that did business with the New York police department.

After the judge’s order, Mr. Kerik took off his purple tie, emptied his pockets of his wallet and keys, removed his ring and several gold necklaces and handed them to his lawyer before being taken into custody by court marshals.

He now faces three trials on federal charges of corruption, tax fraud and lying to White House officials who vetted him for the homeland security post.

Wikipedia photo.

Bernard Kerik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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