Johnson: Kerik’s Crime Partner?

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(Kerik shown right…Giuliani must have known he was a common thug and thief)

Towards the end of the summer of 2000, I filed an official “Economic crime,â€? complaint at the Bronx county District Attorney’s office against Bernard Bailey Kerik, the now disgraced criminal and former commissioner of New York’s correction department and police department. I was asked by Assistant District Attorney Stephen Bookin:  “What do you want my office to do?â€?  I replied, “I want Kerik arrested.â€?

I was accompanied by a female witness who was arrested by Court Officers when we were leaving the court building that day.  Neither ADA Bookin nor anyone from Bronx DA Robert Johnson’s office contacted me after the complaint was filed. More recently, I was told: “The time has run out on the crimes Kerik committed at the Department of Correction,â€? which is a crime in itself. Kerik would go on to write two books, “The lost son: A life in pursuit of justice,â€? and “In the line of duty.â€?  I take offense to the latter because I was personally injured in the line of duty, as a correction officer, on August 7, 1998, after I filed a federal lawsuit exposing the corruption in the DOC and naming Kerik as one of the defendants.

While in a full leg cast, due to a broken ankle received during a mandatory training session, Kerik and his loyal corrupt agents—both Black and White, mind you—fraudulently tampered with city official documents and daily business records only to terminate my career in 1999, a transgression I am still fighting against up today.  “Kerik made it known in a speech in 1995 that anyone crossing the administration would be hunted down and made to pay for their disloyalty,â€? a correction department supervisor who would like to remain anonymous recently told me.

The recent handling of Kerik’s crimes and complaints by the Bronx DA’s office is suspect and the outcome should spark a federal investigation for several reasons. First, the People of the State of New York expect to have all its laws protected and respected by everyone – rich or poor; secondly, elected officials, including the Bronx DA, must execute the duties of their office in a lawful manner; and, the Bronx DA has no powers to treat anyone as if he or she is above the law. The plea deal Kerik was given by DA Johnson is an out right disgrace and a slap in the face of every law abiding citizen in New York. It clearly exposes a two tier system of justice – our Apartheid system of justice. Kerik’s got less than a slap on the wrist.

Did the Bronx DA drop the ball in Kerik’s case because of political pressure? Former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the man who made Kerik, is pandering around the country with the notion of becoming a presidential candidate in 2008.  So, the Kerik matter just had to go away fast. If Kerik’s case had gone to trial, more than likely, Giuliani’s name would have surfaced in some way. Will we ever know this for sure? It was a no brainer to those familiar with the scandal at correction series I have published in The Black Star News that Kerik was engaged in massive corruption. Mayor Michael Bloomberg should have taken Kerik’s name down in November 2005, when he took the Fifth nine times to avoid answering questions about his mob ties. I was the first to write in my column that his name be removed—I’m happy to see that The New York Daily news published its own similar call, two years later.
When someone has felony charges downgraded to misdemeanors – a serious prosecutor must ask for a hefty fine and at lease three years in jail, which did not happen in Kerik’s case. Criminal evidence, testimony, and telephone wire taps mounted against Kerik proved his involvement with the mob.

Yet, Kerik was allowed to plea bargain away felony criminal charges after lying to a grand jury about wrongdoings. DA Johnson gave him a “Get out of jail freeâ€? card, like in the game of monopoly. While Kerik’s name has been removed from the downtown jail, Kerik himself should be in jail. While Kerik finally admitted to taking a gift from the “mobâ€? – he has been handed a greater gift from the Bronx DA’s office – and we cannot let this judgment stand. As correction commissioner, Kerik would walk around Rikers Island as if he was the “Don.â€?  I give a little respect to the late John Gotti because he did not hide behind a city title, or a shield, or the government to protect him – Kerik did. Kerik escaped indictment when close to a million dollars of inmates’ cigarette commissary monies was stolen from a correction foundation account he was in charge of. 

When the investigation was getting hot, Kerik claimed to not have known anything about the missing money and fingered Frederick Patrick, his deputy commissioner who was sent to jail.  Kerik was shipped out of the country to play cop in Baghdad – most of the money was never recovered and the issue was laid to rest.  Kerik evaded paying taxes on his alleged Nanny.  There was a New Jersey bench warrant issued against him on August 24, 1998 – four months later, Kerik would use his pen like a weapon to fire hundreds of Blacks and Latino Correction Officers labeling them, “Tax protesters,â€? after they filed a tax exempt form. These officers were not allowed to take a plea or pay a fine because Kerik just fired them. Some White officers were allowed to correct their filings and retire with benefits. Kerik’s right hand man, Correction Captain John Picciano, filed such a tax exempt form—as did 2,000 other White uniformed and non-uniformed members of service and Kerik looked the other way.

“He can move on with his life and feed his family,â€? lamented Hassan Abdallah, a former Correction Officer fired by Kerik—his federal lawsuit is pending. The Civil Servants Kerik terminated did not commit any crimes, yet they are without employment and have been fighting their cases for almost eight years.  Attorney Irene Thomas, who represents a handful of them, is awaiting a federal decision from the appellate division. 

Bernard B. Kerik is a criminal to the core. He has been excused from his crimes and has not learned from his wrongdoings.  He has the blood of at least two correction officers whom I knew and who took their own lives after they were left destitute as a result of Kerik’s summary dismissals. This matter is not over by far, because the Most High will have the last say. 

If you have any comments contact Winkfield or for his consideration regarding covering your own story.  Write to or call (212) 481-7745 or On The Spot, Post Office Box 230149, Queens County 11423 or email:  Together we can get the justice everyone just talks about.

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