Bernard Kerik was named deputy New York City corrections commissioner by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani late one night in January 1995. Then, in a dark sitting room, one by one, the mayor’s closest staff members came forward and kissed Kerik, he recalled. “I know the mayor is as big a fan of The Godfather as I am and I wonder if he noticed how much becoming part of his team resembled becoming part of a Mafia family. I was being made. I was now a part of the Giuliani family, getting the endorsement of the other family members, the other capos,” Kerik recalled, Time magazine reports.
Kerik later became police commissioner. Now Kerik, 52, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly taking bribes from businessmen with possible Mob ties. Time asks whether Giuliani’s reputation as a crime-busting prosecutor and mayor will be unraveled by a handpicked police chief facing criminal conspiracy charges? Time says Giuliani’s choice of Kerik and the relationship between the two men raise questions about how Giuliani would perform as commander in chief: Does he choose his team members for their competence or for their obedience? Does he prize loyalty at the expense of ethics? For Giuliani, who is campaigning on the strength of being a master at homeland security, Kerik is at best a question mark, Time concludes.