WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Bernard Kerik, former New York City police commissioner and failed nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security was indicted by a federal grand jury, Lev L. Dassin, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced Tuesday.
Kerik is charged with two counts of lying to White House officials during his vetting for the position of Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
The indictment alleges that between 1999 and 2000, Kerik — who was then the commissioner of the Corrections Department — spoke to city regulators on behalf of contractors who wanted permits to do business in and with the city. Those contractors then spent more than $255,000 renovating Kerik's Bronx apartment, MyFOXNY.com reported.
After his nomination Kerik gave "false and misleading answers" to questions by White House officials about his relationship to those contractors, the government alleges.
Kerik was indicted in November 2007 on similar charges in the Southern District of New York but were dismissed from that indictment because the crimes are alleged to have occurred in the Second District of Columbia and not in the Southern District of New York.
"Today's indictment of Mr. Kerik — the third separate prosecution against him arising out of the same purported corruption allegations from 10 years ago — is the latest example of the Department of Justice's overzealous pursuit of high-profile public figures," Kerik's lawyer, Barry Berke, said in a statement.
If convicted, KERIK faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each of the two charges.