Posted Wednesday, March 14th 2007, 12:02 PMDisgraced former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik borrowed a line from a popular game show after federal prosecutors made him a plea offer that would have required him to do time:
"He rejected the plea deal because he paid his taxes and did nothing wrong," his attorney Ken Breen said last night.
Breen declined to be more specific about the terms of the proposed deal, but a source familiar with the negotiations told the Daily News the terms called for Kerik to spend less than two years behind bars.
The potential deal was uncovered by NewsChannel 4, which reported prosecutors offered to end a federal investigation into alleged tax fraud, conspiracy to eavesdrop and mortgage fraud in connection with his Bronx apartment.
Prosecutors also say he should have declared the gift of the use of a midtown Manhattan apartment on his tax returns. Allegations about the midtown apartment surfaced after Kerik was criticized for using an apartment near Ground Zero for romantic trysts, the station said.
The eavesdropping charge stemmed from ex-Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro getting caught on tape asking Kerik, who now runs a security firm, to plant a listening device on the family boat to see if her husband, Albert, was having an affair.
Kerik faced a national scandal when he was nominated by President Bush in 2004 for homeland security chief. He bowed out when it was discovered that he had skirted taxes on his family's nanny-housekeeper, who may have been in the U.S. illegally.
A Daily News investigation revealed that Kerik accepted cash and gifts from Interstate Industrial, an allegedly mobbed-up construction company, effectively ending his candidacy.
Last year, Kerik pleaded guilty to accepting $165,000 in renovations to his Bronx apartment from a contractor with suspected mob ties. He was the city correction commissioner at the time. Kerik also owned up to a $28,000 loan he received from a real estate developer. He didn't have to go to jail.