Kerik pleads innocent to charges

Nov. 9, 2007 at 3:29 PM

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Bernard Kerik, the ex-New York police commissioner, Friday said he was innocent to tax evasion, corruption and other charges in a 16-count federal indictment.

The indictment accused Kerik of accepting more than $250,000 in renovations to his apartment from a company allegedly linked to organized crime. Kerik, 52, pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment in White Plains, N.Y., and was released on $500,000 bond, the Washington Post reported.

During a news conference to announce the indictment, Michael Garcia, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Kerik was "breaking the very laws he was sworn to uphold."

The investigation of Kerik focused on gifts he allegedly accepted while he was first New York corrections chief and then police commissioner.

The indictment also said Kerik failed to report $500,000 in income to the IRS and falsely claimed tens of thousands in tax deductions over a six-year period. Prosecutors allege that he made numerous false statements on his application to become U.S. Homeland Security secretary.

Kerik was a one-time protege of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the front-running Republican presidential hopeful. Giuliani has called his sponsorship of Kerik "a mistake."

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