WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik surrendered Friday to face federal corruption charges, in what could prove to be an ongoing embarrassment for presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.
A law enforcement official, speaking to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the indictment had not been unsealed, said Kerik surrendered to the FBI in suburban White Plains. He was to be fingerprinted and processed, then taken by U.S. marshals to the federal courthouse.
Kerik, the police commissioner under then-Mayor Giuliani and a failed nominee for homeland security secretary, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on corruption charges, another person close to the investigation said.
The U.S. attorney's office said it would hold a news conference later Friday with FBI and Internal Revenue Service officials in White Plains "to announce an indictment of a former public official." The office had no further comment.
The indictment could complicate matters for Giuliani, now a Republican presidential candidate, as the first primaries draw near.
Giuliani endorsed Kerik's 2004 nomination to head Homeland Security. Only days after Bush introduced Kerik as his nominee, Kerik announced he was withdrawing his name because of tax issues involving his former nanny.
The charges in the indictment include mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, making false statements on a bank application, making false statements for a U.S. government position and theft of honest services, according to the person close to the investigation. The theft charge essentially accuses a government employee of abusing his position and defrauding the public.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the indictment was sealed and wasn't expected to be unsealed until Kerik's arraignment Friday.
The indictment does not include any charges stemming from allegations of eavesdropping related to former Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro's pursuit of information about whether her husband was having an affair, the person said.
Prosecutors had been presenting evidence to a federal grand jury for several months, asking jurors to consider charges including tax evasion and corruption.
The investigation of Kerik, 52, arose from allegations that, while a city official, he accepted $165,000 in renovations to his Bronx apartment, paid for by a mob-connected construction company that sought his help in winning city contracts.
Kerik pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge in state court, admitting that the renovations constituted an illegal gift from the construction firm. The plea spared him jail time and preserved his career as a security consultant, but his troubles resurfaced when federal authorities convened their own grand jury to investigate allegations that he failed to report as income tens of thousands of dollars in services from his friends and supporters.
Kerik was police commissioner on Sept. 11, 2001, and his efforts in response to the terrorist attacks helped burnish a career that came close to a Cabinet post.
Giuliani frequently says he made a mistake in recommending Kerik to be Homeland Security chief, but that might not be enough to avoid the political damage of a drawn-out criminal case involving his one-time protege.
During a campaign stop Thursday in Dubuque, Iowa, Giuliani was asked whether he still stood by Kerik. He sidestepped that question and said the issue had to be decided by the courts."A lot of public comment about it is inconsistent with its getting resolved in the right way in the courts," Giuliani said.
Associated Press writers Tom Hays and Pat Milton in New York City contributed to this report.