Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Feds want Kerik's defense lawyer off the case

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik (right) soon could be looking for a new attorney, according to a story by Thomas Zambito of the New York Daily News.

Federal prosecutors last week asked U.S. Judge Stephen Robinson to prevent attorney Kenneth Breen from defending Kerik in an upcoming trial. The prosecutors argued that Breen could be called as a witness in the case. His testimony could "go to the heart of the charges in the indictment," the prosecutors wrote in a letter to the judge.

Kerik was indicted Nov. 8 on charges related to his concealment of favors he received while a New York City official. In June 2006, Kerik admitted that he did not disclose renovation work done on his Riverdale apartment by contractors seeking to work for the city. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to pay $221,000 in fines and fees.

Prosecutors estimate the value of the renovations at $165,000. The work was reportedly paid for by the DiTommaso brothers, owners of Interstate Industrial Corporation. If Kerik is found guilty of tax fraud, depriving the city of his honest services and other charges in his upcoming trial in White Plains, he could be sentenced to 142 years in prison.
In addition to serving in a top city law enforcement post, Kerik was at one time considered by the Bush Administration as a leading candidate to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Kerik withdrew his name from consideration for that job, citing possible tax problems relating to a family nanny.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.