Disgraced former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik was released from jail last night on $1.5 million bond and placed under house arrest as he awaits his February sentencing on various federal crimes. For the next few months, Kerik must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and is not allowed to set foot outside his $2.5 million home in Franklin Lakes, N.J., except to visit lawyers, his church, and a hospital emergency room, if necessary. He's also allowed to meet with accountants fixing his fraudulent tax returns, but yesterday a judge denied Kerik's request to walk his children to school, telling him, "This is not home confinement with morning strolls and afternoon strolls."

Judge Stephen Robinson also warned Kerik that he once sent a man back to jail for violating his house arrest by stepping outside to pick up the newspaper on his front lawn. Robinson told Kerik, "This is not a circumstance where you do what you think you can do and ask for forgiveness later" and reminded him that "it's a mortal lock that there will be jail time at the end of this." According to the terms of his plea bargain, prosecutors are recommending a sentence between 27 months to 33 months in prison, but Judge Robinson is not bound by their advice, and he warned Kerik last week that the maximum sentence is 61 years.

After posting bail, Kerik hustled from the White Plains courtroom to a waiting black Chevrolet Suburban. Kerik was ordered to turn over any NYPD identification and firearms by Friday, and his wife, brother and brother-in-law had to co-sign his bond. According to the Times, Kerik was "upbeat for the first time in weeks, chatting and laughing with his lawyers" in court yesterday.