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Former NYC Police Commissioner Kerik sues ex-lawyer

Jan. 28, 2014 at 3:55 PM   |   Comments

NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik says the lawyer who negotiated a plea deal did not tell him he was under investigation himself.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Newark, N.J., Kerik named both Joseph Tacopina and Tacopina's lawyer, Michael Ross, Courthouse News Service reported Monday. Kerik charges that Tacopina sold him out "through a series of events reminiscent of 'The Godfather,'" while getting advice from Ross, a well-known ethics lawyer.

Kerik gained a national reputation as head of the New York Police Department and served for a few months as interim interior minister in Iraq after the U.S. invasion in 2003. But in 2004, when President George W. Bush nominated him as secretary of homeland security, Kerik withdrew his name amidst allegations he had hired an undocumented immigrant as a nanny.

In 2006, Kerik pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor ethics violations in a New York state court and was fined more than $200,000. He said Tacopina promised him the plea would have no negative consequences but the next year he was indicted again on more serious federal charges and eventually pleaded guilty and received a three-year sentence.

Tacopina only told him his law practice was under investigation three days before the federal indictment, Kerik said.

Kerik said he later learned Tacopina had disclosed confidential information to federal prosecutors.

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