Monday, December 13, 2004

Maybe, instead of getting Alberto Gonzales to vet Bernie Kerik, they should have asked Ken Starr.

From 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.

His affair with Regan, the stunningly attractive head of her own book publishing company, lasted for almost a year.

Dramatically, each woman learned of the existence of the other after Pinero discovered a love note left by Regan in the apartment....

The relationship [with Pinero] continued after Kerik married Hala Matli, a hygienist in his dentist's office whom he met in mid-1996 and wed in November 1998, according to multiple sources close to Pinero and Kerik....

And Regan came into the picture a couple of years later.

That's the guy President Moral Values chose to run Homeland Security.

The union of a man and woman in marriage is the most enduring and important human institution, and the law can teach respect or disrespect for that institution....

For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that traditional marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, traditional marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of traditional marriage will undermine the family structure.

--George W. Bush, radio address, June 10, 2004

Look, I'm not going to be a hypocrite. I said an adulterer should remain in office back in the '90s and I'd say that adultery alone certainly shouldn't have been a dealbreaker in Kerik's case.

But I can still snicker.

And, of course, Kerik once used police resources to find items Regan thought had been stolen but had only been misplaced. And Kerik denied a promotion to a subordinate who, as part of his job, reprimanded Pinero.

Oh, and note that Kerik's lovenest was, according to the News story, in addition to his official place of residence, an apartment uptown on East 79th Street, and in addition to the condo in Jersey. No wonder he was having trouble paying his bills on a big-city commissioner's salary.


By the way, I've put up a couple of posts in which I've speculated about the reason for the Kerik arrest warrant. I've been thinking that it ought to be possible to handle a dispute over unpaid condo fees without an arrest warrant -- but a newer Newsweek story does say the warrant was issued after Kerik failed to respond to a subpoena. Maybe there's nothing more to it than that.

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