Bernard Kerik, A Man of Values: Adulterer, Tax Evader, Mob Ally

As we all know, the GOP is the party of moral values in American politics. Their leaders are all moral and virtuous men. Disagree with their policies, but don't impugn their values.

On December 3, at the behest of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, President Bush nominated former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik to replace Tom Ridge as head of the Department of Homeland Security, calling Kerik a "dedicated, innovative reformer who insists on getting results" and "superbly qualified to lead the Department of Homeland Security."

Democratic New York Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton also praised the selection of Kerik.

Kerik would have been an unlikely person to serve in a presidential Cabinet. "He is a high school dropout (who has since earned a GED and a mail-order bachelor's degree), and the son of a murdered prostitute." I suppose that his lack of formal education didn't necessarily rule out his qualifications for the job.

Kerik withdrew his name last Friday, supposedly over concern that he hadn't paid taxes for a nanny, and his nomination could embarass President Bush. The mainstream media dutifully reported Kerik's lame excuse, but enquiring minds want to know whether any other moral lapses Kerik might have suffered could have made his nomination process difficult.

News outlets are slowly picking up reports by the New York Daily News:
Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons, the Daily News has learned.

The first relationship, spanning nearly a decade, was with city Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero; the second, and more startling, was with famed publishing titan Judith Regan.

Kerik, 49, married with two children from his current marriage, withdrew his name from consideration in a sudden and unexpected call to the White House on Friday night.

Kerik said that questions about the immigration status of his family's former nanny and failure to pay taxes prompted his decision to walk away from the job. But speculation has continued that there were deeper and more controversial reasons.

Yesterday, The News reported that a six-month investigation showed Kerik had accepted thousands of dollars in cash and gifts without proper disclosure, and had ties to a construction company that investigators believe is linked to the mob.

Kerik's affair with Pinero is at the center of two lawsuits against the city, both brought by correction employees who claimed Kerik retaliated after they crossed her.

The city settled one last year for $250,000, The News reported at the time.

The second suit, in which Pinero and Kerik were deposed last week, was filed by former Deputy Warden Eric DeRavin 3rd, who claims Kerik quashed his promotion after he reprimanded Pinero. The city demanded a gag order on both depositions.
Newsday also reports:
Retired Correction Department supervisor Eric DeRavin III claims in the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court that Kerik passed him over five times between 1998 and 2000 in retaliation for reprimanding Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero.

"This whole situation could have been changed with an apology, a handshake, and a guarantee that I would get promoted and get subsequent promotions as long as I didn't do anything wrong," said DeRavin, 51, of the Bronx, who served 20 years at Correction before retiring in August 2000. "I wasn't asking for anything more than what I deserved."

DeRavin is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and served nine months in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as a military intelligence and civil affairs officer. He has a doctorate in criminal justice management. He also has taught at Hofstra University and teaches at Fordham University.

DeRavin said his experience makes him question Kerik's fitness for the Homeland Security job. "He's not a credible man," DeRavin said.