Fans of schadenfreude had lots to enjoy when former police commissioner and current federal-prison inmate Bernie Kerik appeared in court yesterday after a nice brisk walk shackled at the waist. The now-gaunt man once tapped to run Homeland Security was in town to testify at the trial of two of his former friends who are charged with lying about a quarter million in renovations they did on Kerik's Bronx pad. The same renovations that got Kerik in trouble in the first place. And, once again, Kerik cried in court. Old habits!
Kerik was reluctantly testifying against Frank and Peter DiTommaso, who are accused of committing perjury to protect the former police commish during a 2006 grand jury investigation. Authorities say the brothers paid for $255,000 in renovations on Mr. Kerik's apartment in exchange for his help in obtaining a license for their Staten Island dirt-transfer company—a company that had been barred from doing city business because of alleged organized-crime ties.
The most emotional moment of the testimony reportedly came when "the DiTommasos' defense attorney, Cathy Flemming, asked Mr. Kerik if he had pleaded guilty in connection with the fraud so he could 'go on with your life,'" at which point Kerik's "stony composure melted away." After breaking down, the once-powerful man reportedly replied "yes, ma'am" while wiping his nose, "prompting a court officer to offer him a tissue."
Kerik, who insisted yesterday he didn't do anything wrong, is expected to return to the stand today. In the meantime, he is projected to be released back into the wilds on October 15, 2013.