Bernard Kerik's fall

February 18, 2010 1:35:11 PM PST
It's hard to imagine him, now that we know, as Homeland Security Secretary. He was the top law enforcement official in New York City. He was the man in charge of the city's jail system. Now, Bernie Kerik will spend the next four years on the other side of the fence. Or bars in this case.

Kerik was sentenced Thursday to four years in federal prison for eight felony charges, including tax fraud and lying in his application process to become Secretary of Homeland Security under Pres. George W. Bush.

It's a sad and pathetic fall, after a stunning and impressive climb. From a nasty childhood to a successful career, Kerik rode his friendship with Mayor Rudy Giuliani through the dark days that followed the Sept. 11 attacks, and through the green days that followed his partnering with Giuliani in business. Green as in money. Money as in big bucks.

He had asked his pal, Rudy Giuliani, to write him a letter, so the judge might go a bit easier at sentencing time. But there was no letter; it was never written. And, according to one source, Giuliani didn't even respond to the request, one way or the other.

There is no telling how the Kerik scandal played into Mr. Giuliani's thinking about whether or not to pursue elected office again - like U.S. Senate or Governor. Surely any opponent would have dragged Affair Kerik into the light.

We'll have reaction, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, our Stacey Sager has the story of a one-woman savings machine. Her name is Susan Samtur, but for our story, she's the Coupon Queen. She's been clipping them since the 1970s - and saving a ton of money in the process.

She tells us her secrets, at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark in Florida for baseball's spring training. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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