Kerik Expected to Plead Guilty

Kerik is facing trial on corruption and tax fraud charges

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009  |  Updated 6:38 PM EDT
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AP

Former top cop Bernard Kerik has been offered a plea deal that would send him to the slammer for less than three years, a published report said.

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Disgraced NYPD police commissioner Bernard Kerik is expected to plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges in coneection with his acceptance of cash and gifts while a public official. If Kerik goes through with the deal, he could face more than two years in prison.
 
Kerik had been facing three separate trial in connection with alleged corruption, tax fraud and lying on his application to become secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Kerik's lawyer had no comment. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was asked about the planned plea deal during an unrelated press conference, also declined comment.

Kerik has been facing enormous new legal bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a source familiar with the trial. Kerik is on his third defense lawyer. 

A decision could come by Thursday's planned 10 a.m. status conference in White Plains federal court. 

He has been behind bars since October 20th after a federal judge in White Plains revoked his $500,000 bail after finding he allegedly leaked confidential case information in an attempt to taint the jury pool.

His behavior also sparked questions of his mental state.  Earlier this week, the same judge, Stephen Robinson, ruled Kerik was sane, posing no risk to himself or other people.

He said that authorities at the Westchester County jail had discharged Kerik Monday from  a special unit where the former top cop had agreed to be admitted"voluntarily."
   
"There were no significant findings that would necessitate Mr. Kerik's ongoing admission to the forensic unit," Judge Robinson said.
   
The judge said last week that Kerik had exhibited "symptoms" in jail after being held in isolation from other inmates because he had been the NYPD head as well as New York City corrections commissioner. 

Last year, Kerik turned down an initial guilty plea offer of six months in jail. Instead he vowed to fight the charges, in part to avoid a felony conviction so he could continue his work as a private investigator.

One source says the current offer by prosecutors will mean a greater prison sentence than the original offer.

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