Writing on the Huffington Post, Dan Collins says it is wrong to portray the saga of Bernie Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, as “the classic rise-and-fall story of a great man undone by big temptations. What’s really amazing here is that this cheap crook and charlatan should have achieved such wealth and lofty position in the first place.” Kerik who raked in more than $12 million over a six-year period that included his glory years of national acclaim as a hero of 9/11, was sentenced Thursday to four years in federal prison for offenses that ranged from tax fraud to lying to White House officials.
Collins writes, “There was an off-the-books nanny, bogus charitable deductions, the unreported free use of a car and, of course, the well-known apartment renovations paid for by a construction company with suspected mob ties. Kerik earned well over half a million dollars from his best-selling rags-to-riches memoir, but he only thought to conceal about $70,000 of his book income from the government. There’s little doubt Bernie had bigger dreams. He set up a Delaware corporation to park income from his lucrative post-9/11 speaking engagements. He also created an offshore account for himself by forming a shell corporation in the Cayman Islands. But in the end, Kerik just couldn’t get summon the will to make his schemes work…He preferred hanging out with like-minded cronies and screwing around with women.”