Bernard Kerik, New York City’s disgraced former police commissioner, went to jail Tuesday after a judge revoked his bail for disclosing sealed trial information that could poison his upcoming corruption trial.
At the end of a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Robinson in White Plains, Kerik took off his purple tie, emptied his pockets and removed a ring from his finger, giving his possessions to his lawyer before marshals led him away.
Robinson revoked Kerik’s $500,000 bail following a hearing that lasted more than three hours regarding confidential trial information that Kerik disclosed to the trustee of his legal defense fund, who in turn released it to The Washington Times. The newspaper did not publish the information.
Kerik’s attorney, Barry Berke, argued that the trustee was part of Kerik’s legal team and therefore was allowed to see the information.
But Robinson, who had warned Kerik last month that he would be jailed for similar behavior, said he did not believe Kerik and delivered a stern rebuke.
“My fear is that he has a toxic combination of self-minded focus and arrogance, and I fear that combination leads him to believe that his ends justify his means,” Robinson said.
Arrogance? Bernie Kerik? Why, that’s like calling grass green!
Robinson said he was ordering Kerik to jail so he would not be able to “influence witnesses or prospective jurors” in a trial that is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection.
Kerik has pleaded not guilty to charges of accepting apartment renovations from a construction company in exchange for recommending the company for city contracts.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik was jailed on Tuesday when a federal judge revoked his bail a week before his trial on conspiracy and fraud charges was due to begin.
Kerik was a close friend of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was New York’s police commissioner the day of the September 11, 2001, attacks. His career began to unravel upon being subjected to background checks when President George W. Bush nominated him in 2004 to become Homeland Security secretary.
Kerik withdrew from that nomination and his legal troubles became an embarrassment for Giuliani during the former mayor’s unsuccessful run in 2007 and early 2008 for the Republican presidential nomination.
Kerik could become a campaign issue again next year should Giuliani decide to run for governor of New York state.
While preparing for his hearings to run Homeland Security, Kerik said he had uncovered information questioning the legal immigration status of a former housekeeper and nanny.
Kerik faces other charges — including other fraud and tax charges as well as lying to White House officials during their background checks on him — that will be prosecuted separately at a later date.