Tags: | bernie kerik | jailer to jailed | msnbc | rudy giuliani | prison

Bernie Kerik: Giuliani Ignored My Family When I Was at Lowest

Image: Bernie Kerik: Giuliani Ignored My Family When I Was at Lowest
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 06:40 AM

Though godfather to his two children, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani never called Bernie Kerik's family during the "three years and 11 days" he was incarcerated in a minimum security federal penitentiary.

Kerik served as Giuliani's police commissioner from 2000 to 2001, having run the city's jail system before that. He was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2004 to take charge of the Department of Homeland Security, but pulled his nomination and admitted that he had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to unrelated ethics violations. Later, he also pleaded guilty to federal charges of tax fraud and lying under oath and was sentenced to prison.

Promoting his book, "From Jailer to Jailed," Kerik told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program that after his fall, Giuliani completely dropped him. He said the last time the two were together was on Sept. 11, 2006.

"I get it. He is in politics. That's his decision," he said.

Kerik said, though, that if the situation were reversed, "I would have been there for him and his family. He is the godfather of my two children. I wish he would have called my wife, called the kids [to ask], 'Are you OK?'"

He contrasted Giuliani's cold shoulder to the conduct of Rep. Peter King of New York, a long-serving member of the Homeland Security committee. King visited him in prison every few months. So did Richard Grasso, former head of the New York Stock Exchange.

Bernard Kerik's new memoir, "From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey From Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054," can be found at amazon.com.
Click here to go to the site.

Any American could potentially become a target of the criminal justice system and most people "have no conception what that means," Kerik said.

"I learned a lot about a criminal justice system that I had worked in for over 30 years," he said.

The system is putting thousands of nonviolent, first-time offenders in prison. Most of the offenses — possession of small amounts of cocaine, for example — don't warrant such punishment, he said.

"I am not saying I didn't make mistakes," Kerik said, but he doesn't think he should have done time.  The charges, he said, could have been handled civilly or ethically.

Scarborough implied that Giuliani's presidential aspirations may have had something to do with the severity of Kerik's punishment.

Even at the minimum security facility where Kerik was incarcerated, the deprivation of freedom was "more than the average American can imagine." The realization that family life goes on without you is painful, he said.

Watch the video below.

Bernard Kerik's new memoir, "From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey From Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054," can be found at amazon.com.
Click here to go to the site.

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Though godfather to his two children, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani never called Bernie Kerik's family during the "three years and 11 days" Kerik, an former NYC police commissioner, was incarcerated in a federal penitentiary.
bernie kerik, jailer to jailed, msnbc, rudy giuliani, prison
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2015-40-01
Wednesday, 01 Apr 2015 06:40 AM
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