Magazine article Newsweek

More Trouble for Kerik

Magazine article Newsweek

More Trouble for Kerik

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Hosenball

Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has issued apologies for recommending that the White House nominate Bernard Kerik as Homeland Security secretary. But the apologies have not staunched the flow of embarrassing revelations.

New questions have surfaced about why Kerik's nomination was withdrawn less than a week after it was announced. The White House said a "nanny problem" killed Kerik's nomination because Homeland Secretary is the nation's top immigration law enforcer. But nonpublic law-enforcement records obtained by NEWSWEEK suggest that Kerik was worried about other issues: around the time of his nomination, Kerik spoke by phone with two people with whom he had a potentially embarrassing history. According to the records, on Dec. 2, 2004, one day before President George W. Bush announced Kerik's nomination, three phone calls were logged between Kerik and New Jersey businessman Frank DiTommaso. A few weeks earlier, DiTommaso's construction firms had been described in court testimony as mob connected. (DiTommaso and his company have denied wrongdoing.)

Shortly after the nomination, Kerik exchanged several phone calls with Jeannette Pinero, a New York prison guard with whom he had an affair. "I don't know what they were discussing," says Pinero's lawyer, Andrew Laufer. …

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