Former New York police commissioner sentenced to four years in prison

15:53, February 19, 2010      

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Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has been sentenced to four years in prison, New York local TV channel NY1 quotes a judge making the announcement Thursday.

Kerik, 54, has also been sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of 187,931 dollars and to pay past-due taxes and penalties on six years of tax returns.

"I'd like to apologize to the American people for the mistakes I've made for which I've just accepted responsibility. As history is written, I can only hope that I will be judged for the 30 years of service I gave to this country and the city of New York," the former police commissioner is cited as saying.

Under his plea deal, prosecutors had recommended that Kerik spend 27 to 33 months behind bars, but Judge Stephen Robinson said the guidelines did not account for Kerik's position of authority when he committed the crimes.

Kerik was New York City Police Commissioner from 2000 to 2001, under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In December 2004, President George W. Bush nominated Kerik as Secretary of Homeland Security. A week later, Kerik withdrew his nomination, explaining that he had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny; subsequently, numerous allegations surfaced which would likely have led to a confirmation battle in the Senate. In 2006, Kerik pled guilty to two unrelated ethics violations after an investigation by the Office of the Bronx District Attorney, and was ordered to pay 221,000 dollars.

A grand jury of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a 16-count indictment against Kerik on Nov. 8, 2007, alleging conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and lying to the Internal Revenue Service. Kerik surrendered to authorities the next day and pled not guilty to all charges. On Oct. 20, 2009, his bail was revoked and he was jailed pending trial. On Nov. 5, he pleaded guilty to eight charges in a plea bargain with prosecutors who recommended a jail sentence of 27 to 33 months.

Source: Xinhua
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