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Deadbeat Bernie Fallout Hits Rudy

New York- Those who hate Rudy Giuliani find it impossible to believe that a supposedly paranoid know-it-all like him would not be totally aware of all the things now landsliding out of Bernard Kerik’s closet.

Rudy had to know. So why didn’t he? The elephantine Giuliani ego supposedly was the trouble. It became bigger than a herd of pachyderms after he and Kerik were elevated into apparently invincible positions of esteem after 9/11. Rudy became America’s Mayor, and Kerik became something like America’s Cop. Both went on to become wealthy as experts on security, as well as business partners.

But it seems that all that success set the two of them up.

This is not all that surprising. As police commissioner, Kerik was commended by many cops, who saw him as innovative. They said he quietly bettered the position of nonwhite cops who had long been ignored by the department. But there was always other talk about Kerik, almost all of it dark and repulsive.

Now the rumors and private accusations have given way to the public repainting of him as a man who abused his power at every opportunity. He is accused of having sexually intimidated and imposed himself on female workers. We hear he was tight with New Jersey gangsters and made money from criminals, all of which led this paper to demand a formal investigation. It no longer seems impossible to believe Kerik stalked and terrorized one of the women he supposedly had charmed into an affair.

In my own dealings with Kerik, he was never less than charming, intelligent and witty. He was always ready to look into any accusations of abusive behavior or excessive force that were raised against individual police officers.

At the same time, the cops with whom I have talked found him one of two things – either a likeable guy or a man whom they claimed was clearly a manipulative, narcissistic sicko suffering alternately from grandiosity and paranoia.

Every image or charge is contradicted by an opposing image and an opposing body of information. If the real Bernard Kerik were to stand up, he would quickly split into a number of people.

The question that remains is what effect Kerik’s fall will have on the career of Giuliani. Will Kerik, if charges are brought against him, pull everything down with him?

Will Giuliani remain with him to the end?

It all comes down to whether the public winds up seeing the man once hailed as America’s Mayor as a guy who could be conned as easily as a simpleminded mark from the sticks. We’ll soon see.



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