Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik is close to reaching an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to accepting improper gifts totaling tens of thousands of dollars while he was a city official in the late 1990’s, the New York Times reports. Kerik would plead guilty to failing to report accepting roughly $200,000 in renovations to his Bronx apartment – a violation of the city’s administrative code. The work was paid for by a New Jersey construction company that the city had long accused of having ties to organized crime.
Kerik, 50, who accepted the gift when he served as correction commissioner under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, will not face jail time, but is expected to pay a substantial fine. A guilty plea would be a further fall from grace for a public official whose ascent in city government took him from the rank of third-grade police detective in 1993, when he served as a volunteer campaign bodyguard and chauffeur for Mr. Giuliani in his mayoral campaign, to becoming the city’s police commissioner in 2000, a post he held at the time of the Sept. 11 terror attack. Aspects of Kerik’s negotiations with prosecutors have been reported in recent days by WNBC-TV and WCBS-TV. Prosecutors had initially weighed seeking a grand jury indictment on more serious felony bribery charges.