A week out from the start of his corruption trial, former top cop Bernard Kerik is considering a plea deal, a source familiar with the case said today.
Kerik, the former NYPD Commissioner, is scheduled to go on trial Nov. 9 for allegedly accepting co-op renovations in exchange for recommending a company that sought city business. He has pleaded not guilty.
He faces two more trials: one involves tax fraud and a third, to be held in Washington D.C., accuses him of making false statements when he was tapped by former President George Bush for Homeland Security secretary.
But a source familiar with the defense says plea talks are under way and Kerik is taking the newest offer "very seriously."
The source says the deal could mean 27 months in prison with six months of home confinement as part of the deal.
Kerik has been facing enormous new legal bills totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the source. 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. Yesterday, 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.
Kerik's lawyer Barry Berke did not return a call for comment and a spokesman for the US attorney's office declined to comment. Defense attorney Michael Bachner also declined to comment.
Kerik faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
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.