Bernie Kerik Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison, Voluntary Surrender Granted
Update: Hundreds of tweets and articles and the first to report on whether Kerik goes to jail immediately or not is Tony Aiello. Kerik was granted a voluntary surrender to the designated prison, he will report May 17.
Update: The Judge sentenced Bernie to four years in prison, more than the Government requested. In other words, he rejected the plea agreement, which called for 27 to 33 months. AP report on reasons the judge went above the guidelines:
Kerik was "the chief law enforcement law enforcement officer for the biggest and grandest city this nation has," Robinson said. The crimes were committed "in the process of attempting to become a cabinet level position in the government of the United States."
Bump and Update: Bernie Kerik's sentencing is set for 10 am ET. I'm following on Twitter and elsewhere and will update with live reports from those on the scene. Federal proceedings are not televised but media is present.
Original Post with details below:
Bernie Kerik Sentencing Tomorrow
Former NY Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik will be sentenced tomorrow in federal court in White Plains. The courthouse has been preparing for an big influx of media.
Both sides have asked the judge for a sentence between 27 and 33 months. I explain both sentencing memos and the Government's unwarranted (in my view) request to have him taken into custody tomorrow here.
Why can't the Government be satisfied with a just sentence rather than have to go for the extra pound of flesh to make the sentence as miserable as possible for the defendant?
I may not share Kerik's politics, but as I've read through the pleadings the past few years, I still don't get what the big fuss is all about. [More...]
What did he do that was so terrible? He didn't declare the value of the renovations on an apartment on his tax returns; he made false statements about them; he didn't declare the value of a BMW he received from a company he was working for; and he spoke for free at organizations and deducted his normal speaking fee on his return as a charitable contribution. Total: About $300,000. He didn't tell the White House he had a full-time nanny whom he hadn't paid social security and medicare taxes for. (He's since paid them.) And he didn't warn the White House during the vetting process for Homeland Security Chief that his ties to Larry Ray and the Di Tommasso brothers could be portrayed negatively.
The Government makes a point of acknowledging in its sentencing memorandum that there is no evidence Kerik was involved in organized crime or had improper dealings with them. It says that because Kerik's brother and his former best man Larry Ray worked for the di Tomasso's company, he improperly asserted himself into an investigation of Interstate's activities. In other words, he meddled.
Because the judge severed the tax counts, and the Government also filed a criminal case in D.C. pertaining to alleged misstatements on his White House application, Kerik was facing three separate trials. Aside from the expense, there's the emotional toll of three federal criminal trials. And what are the odds of beating the Government not once, but three times? So it's hardly surprising Kerik pleaded guilty.
Here's the Government's press release with its description of what Bernie did wrong.
We get it. He didn't tell the truth about who paid for renovations on a personal residence. He didn't declare some income on his tax returns. His mortgage application had false statements. And he didn't initially tell the White House about having a nanny and not withholding taxes for her.
Bernie agreed to the 27 to 33 month sentence. He's been on bond, at home, on electronic monitoring, and hasn't violated. There is no reason to think he won't show up to serve his sentence. Remanding him to custody tomorrow will result him spending the next month in the protective wing of the jail, locked up alone in a cell around the clock, while BOP decides which prison camp will be his home for the duration of his sentence.
I hope the Judge realizes how unnecessarily punitive that would be and lets him go home tomorrow to await his designation and then voluntarily surrender. And that it's a waste of Government and taxpayer funds.
My prediction remains the same: The judge splits the 27 to 33 months and sentences Bernie to 30 months, and rejects the Government's request for an immediate remand.
I'll give the second to last word to Bernie: His 2005 interview in New York Magazine on his downfall, Tears of A Cop.
I'll give the last word to journalist Michael Wolf, who wrote, Please Don't Ever Forget Bernie Kerik: Reason #1: Rudy Giuliani. The best way to prevent Giuliani from getting another elected office is to remind people about him and Bernie.
In that sense, Bernie took one for the team and we owe him our thanks.
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