Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Ex-NY police chief Bernard Kerik jailed for four years

Bernard Kerik, June 2009
Bernard Kerik was considered a national hero before the controversy

Former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik, hailed as a hero after the 9/11 attacks, has been sentenced to four years in jail.

Kerik pleaded guilty in November to eight charges, including lying to the White House and tax evasion.

He lied while being vetted for the post of homeland security chief in 2004.

Federal judge Stephen Robinson said the fact that Kerik, 54, used the attacks for "personal gain and aggrandisement" was "a dark place in the soul for me".

Kerik's admissions in November were part of a plea bargain which helped him avoid a maximum potential sentence of up to 61 years in jail.

But the judge still went beyond the sentence of between 27 and 33 months recommended by prosecutors.


Kerik has already agreed to file amended tax returns and pay $188,000 (£120,600) in restitution.

As well as making false statements to the White House and other federal officials, Kerik admitted accepting a $250,000 payback in the form of house renovations from a company to which he gave a city contract.

The company installed marble bathrooms, a jacuzzi and a new kitchen in Kerik's apartment in the upmarket New York suburb of Riverdale.

He also admitted tax crimes including failing to report more than $500,000 in taxable income between 1999 and 2004.

Mr Kerik had been hailed as a national hero following the 9/11 terror attacks and was nominated for the post of the head of the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration in 2004.

But he withdrew his name from consideration for the role after he was accused of failing to pay taxes, and of having extramarital affairs.

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