Defense attorneys may not introduce any specific mention of the 9/11 terrorist attack during the corruption trial of former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, a federal judge ruled today.
Kerik, who will face three different juries on charges of corruption, tax evasion and perjury, received heavy publicity, much of it glowing, for his actions as commissioner after the attack that brought down the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Judge Stephen Robinson said Tuesday the attack had no relevance to the case. Kerik is accused of leveraging his job as New York City's top cop to get $165,000 in renovations to his Bronx apartment from a mob-linked contractor who wanted city contracts. If convicted, Kerik faces up to 20 years in prison.
However, Judge Robinson said defense lawyers may mention that Kerik was commissioner in 2001 and that he received much attention.
Kerik has pleaded not guilty. His trial begins next month.
Kerik's second trial in federal court in White Plains will deal with charges he defrauded the Internal Revenue Service by failing to disclose a $250,000 loan and rent income he was receiving on an upper East Side apartment.
Kerik will be tried in Washington on a third set of changes for allegedly lying to White House officials vetting him for the Homeland Security secretary post in 2004.