Starting in 1989, and through all the years of Kerik's rise, Michael Caruso was the inspector general for the Department of Correction. Beefy and pale, with a brush cut, a cop's mustache, and a slight limp, Caruso first met Kerik in 1994. After Kerik became first deputy commissioner, Caruso would go through him when he needed access to investigate one of the city's jails.

The entire mission of an inspector general is to be immune to outside influence, and city rules required Caruso to be independent of the agency he oversaw—Kerik's. But Caruso just couldn't resist Bernie. He attended Kerik's wedding. He prepped Kerik for his interview with Giuliani. He partied in Kerik's apartment when Rudy named him police commissioner. In his book, Kerik calls Caruso one of his closest friends, a man who "shared the battleground" with him.

If there was any sense between the two men that their relationship was inappropriate, they didn't work very hard to conceal it. And given how close they were, it is hard to believe that Caruso had no idea of the questionable things Kerik was doing. Indeed, as early as 1995, DOC insiders were accusing Caruso of covering up Kerik pal Serra's use of staff to pretty up his house. To this day, Sidney Schwarzbaum, the leader of the deputy warden's union, insists that Caruso "squashed" Kerik chief of staff Picciano's 1998 arrest for beating his girlfriend. "I would testify to it under oath," he says.

But it was a 1999 meeting with trade waste commissioner Raymond Casey that would come back to torment both men—and now, possibly, DOI's Hearn.

Casey, who is also Rudy Giuliani's cousin, was investigating whether a company called Interstate Industrial Corp., which was owned by brothers Frank and Peter DiTomasso, had ties to organized crime. The DiTomassos had already hired Kerik's brother, Donald, as well as the best man at his wedding, Larry Ray, so there was an atmosphere of mutual support among the men already. The DiTomassos couldn't bid for any city business without a clean bill of health from Casey, so they naturally turned to Kerik, not only a favorite of the mayor's but one of the city's top law enforcement officials, to put in a good word for them. Kerik, as it happened, was in the market for a remodeling job on his apartment that his government salary couldn't cover. He agreed to assuage Commissioner Casey's concerns in exchange for the $200,000 he needed to fix up the place.

In July 1999, Inspector General Caruso joined Kerik and Casey at Walker's Restaurant in Tribeca. With Caruso—the government watchdog—at the table, Kerik assured Casey that Interstate would cooperate fully with the investigation. Of course there was no legitimate reason for the correction commissioner to be touting some contractor, nor was there any legitimate reason for Caruso to attend such a meeting. His mere presence was unethical.

When Caruso's boss, then DOI commissioner Edward Kuriansky, found out about the meeting a few months later, he did nothing.

In 2002, Hearn was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as DOI commissioner. A blonde Hamptons habitué whose dad was tight with Ed Koch, Hearn had most recently been a federal prosecutor working for the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan.

She came aboard at a time when Kerik was having the time of his life. Although he had stepped down as police commissioner at the end of Rudy's tenure, he was still basking in post–9/11 fame and holding down a cushy job at Giuliani Partners chasing lucrative federal security contracts. But it didn't take long for allegations about the Caruso-Kerik alliance to come across Hearn's desk. When some of these claims ended up in the newspaper—most of them planted by sources in the correction department—Hearn publicly defended Caruso, saying she had "full faith and confidence in him." She even personally vouched for Caruso with Mayor Bloomberg, according to a deposition by one of her aides.

Hearn may have been concerned about angering two of the most prominent figures in the post 9/11 world—a possible presidential candidate and his henchman. "They realized Bernie could mess with them, and they wanted to stay on his good side, so they stuck with Caruso," says one retired correction official.

Steier agrees with this assessment. "To the extent that an investigations commissioner is attuned to the mayor's feelings, she had to know acting against Caruso would have drawn complaints from Kerik and Giuliani," he says. "It politically may not have made sense."

A DOI official, who could not speak for attribution, disputes this characterization of Hearn's motives: "The record just doesn't support that impression. DOI investigated Serra, two top Giuliani officials, and opened the Kerik investigation."

But Hearn knew she had a problem. A year into her administration, she ordered her general counsel, Marjorie Landa, to examine all the allegations against the IG, referring to the investigation as the "Mike Caruso project." The inquiry concluded that there was no basis to any of the claims.

That conclusion seems questionable, given the abundant evidence of Caruso's involvement with Kerik. And it seems even more so given that when Bush nominated Kerik to run Homeland Security in December 2004, Caruso immediately started telling people he was leaving DOI to go to Washington with Bernie. Rather than let him go—and for reasons the documents don't explain—Hearn asked him to give her a chance to match the offer.

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21 comments
prez
prez

Bernie is a sociopath, no quetion about it.  He confirms it again, as he, after all this time, still denies wrongdoing.  He believes his lies and is void of concious.  I'm sure he will cry when he gets out and he will no doubt write another self'-promoting book of lies.

gryphonusa1
gryphonusa1

@prez

I just visited with him on Monday March 25th he will have several books published and each one will be a best seller because the truth sells. Your probably a sociopath yourself and want to hide behind what Bernie did or did not do. In the end Bernie will be walking in to his mansion in a few months and the truth will come out. You should get a life Perz!

elbey
elbey

gryphonusa1 3 bankrupticies

gryphonusa1
gryphonusa1

@elbey  Interesting name to choose elbey's are individuals that swore not to uphold our constitution and pledged their allegiance to the Moorish nation or Islam in other words. Have the As-salam alaykum brothers gotten their jobs back??? And actually it was only one Bankruptcy  Russ Buettner got that wrong also. See you soon and say hello to Terry, Mark, Eddie and Sid for me.

gryphonusa1
gryphonusa1

Sidney Schwarzbaum is a manic depressant check the facts Mr. Rayman do your job how many times did his wife call the CARE unit because he had his gun in his mouth in his basement.

Sidney has never been the same since he was called in to see Mike Caruso because he attempted to black mail Bernie’s Chief of Staff with a laminated 61 ripped Police report that he sent Picciano in an attempted to gain favor with him.

But Picciano reported him to DOI and handed over the two envelopes one inside the other with the ADW’s return address with the Name Virgil Sollozzo on the other Sidney try to say someone sent it to him and he was sending it to Picciano to look out for him.

Sidney you said you would testify under oath did you ever here of MEO 16 you should read up on it before you open your mouth.

Your weak and so is your union send my regards to Terry Skinner and Mark Bullaro your all a bunch a losers.

eric
eric like.author.displayName 1 Like

@gryphonusa1 check the facts.... LOL it doesn't fit the agenda. 

Wonder does Sidney have Tommy Burke (I like sending naked pictures) still working in his office? 

Kerik and Crew have been gone since August 2000 from the Correction Department.

Do some reporting on the exploding Jail Violence or the cutting of Uniform posts while Dora is hiring every liberal civilian she can with a jailing slide ruler. 

Hiring paper tigers and vets of paper cuts such as Ari Wax is not going to reduced the violence or improve the working conditions.

Hey didn't Ari work under Kerik in Correction and the NYPD. Hmm possible infection

Skinner and Bullaro birds of a feather stick together.

Rich Palmer is a big weasel

martin
martin like.author.displayName 1 Like

Why shouldn't Mike get paid? Skinner and Lorquet got paid for less.

Don't forget Palmer getting 911 money and Zadroga fund money for Asthma.  YES ASTHMA.

He only went down to Ground Zero for Photo Ops with and up Comm Fraizers ass. 

He never worked the morgue or the pit. 

Guess he had needed the money to pay for his illegitimate child with a subordinate.

He also got 3/4's on the heart bill I thought you have to have a heart to get it.

gryphonusa1
gryphonusa1

@martin Your 100% right richie is a wesal and should be embarrassed of himself

SeaWasp33
SeaWasp33

I did however respect the factual turn Raymond took as I read on. He cites contradictions in the depositions between Hearns stating different reasons for Mike Carusos termination as well as Hearns struggle with handling the current situation ,which has the potential to smudge her reputation as the "antidote" for the city.All in all its a pretty good account of this titanic situation but It would be great if writers such as Graham Raymond saved their critical energy for people with bigger rap sheets. You know like people with 16 count indictments alleging conspiracy, lying to the IRS , committing mail and wire fraud..that type of thing.

wbourne
wbourne

@SeaWasp33 You give us the name(s) and the details, and we would be happy to turn our critical energy on them. WB

SeaWasp33
SeaWasp33

This article reads as if Raymond is assuming the role of devil's advocate in a torpid manner, attempting to cast a negative shadow on Mike Caruso's actions but failing to cite any legitimate grounds for suspicion. Examples of Mike Caruso's reprehensible activity include unsupported allegations against him regarding cover ups that protected Kerik,attending Keriks wedding ,prepping Kerik for interviews and basically just being friends with the guy.Raymonds final attempt at casting Mike Caruso in a negative light recounts a meeting which took place in July 1999 in Tribeca.In attendance was Caruso, Kerik and Raymond Casey. Graham Raymond deliberately omits a premise in order to reinforce his conclusion which views Caruso's attendance as both unwarranted and "unethical." I'm not a lawyer but to say "Mike Caruso was in a restaurant with criminals, therefore Mike Caruso is a criminal," doesn't sound like a well supported, legitimate argument. In fact , it is the deliberate utilization of a rhetorical tactic known as an enthymeme which deliberately omits a premise in order to reinforce the speakers conclusion. I personally don't like enthymemes since it undermines the intelligence of the reader and perpetuates themedias ubiquitous role of affirming rather than informing

donnymoss
donnymoss

At a public forum, I once asked Ms. Gill Hearn what happened to the city's investigation into Christine Quinn's slush fund scandal. She responded, "That's an interesting question," and then changed the subject. Did Mayor Bloomberg call off the investigation after Quinn overturned term limits for him?  

geekgirliustitia
geekgirliustitia

If Bernie Kerik has an infection then the Bronx DA, Feds and NYC DOI are the carriers! Is there any way these three entities did not work together? Mr. Rayman, check out the timeline of the Court Docket of the Peter & Frank Ditommaso Trial by the Bronx DA, then check the timeline of Mr. Caruso's civil case and then the dates of Commissioner Kerik's Federal parallel incarceration! All three cases, delayed for years, suddenly run coincidentally parallel to each other in the end. All involve one meeting at Walker’s Restaurant. What does DOI Investigator Arsenault have to say about his involvement in all of this? DOI Investigator Arsenault seems to have been mysteriously omitted from your story! Yes, Commissioner Kerik may have an infection but it would appear it’s the NYC DOI, the Fed and the Bronx DA's secrets that keep society and justice sick! All this persecution, prosecution would make a great crime novel except no one would believe this could happen in the USA! These three prosecutions conspiring together to destroy the lives of so many over politics and headlines disgust this reader! The timing of this story is yet another “coincidence” with Peter DiTommaso’s sentencing tomorrow and the Judge preparing a decision in the Caruso Civil Case as we speak! Who knew? Mr. Rayman, if there is any investigative journalism left in this city, please ask how the DOI knew to what Mr. Caruso testified Grand Jury Testimony? Please ask Ms. Hearn why she, her own counsel and three of her deputies differ on the FACTS? Please read Andrew Kreig’s work here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-kreig/feds-bullied-kerik-into-4_b_469086.html for a good start... Your readers deserve the TRUTH. It’s all there in the public record if anyone can put their prejudices, bias and tabloid fantasy aside!

geekgirliustitia
geekgirliustitia

The DOI was all in for Caruso until they discovered, through an alleged illegal leak of Grand Jury Tesitmony, that he would NOT lie for them. Instead he told the TRUTH which favored Kerik side of the issue! All these secrets finally coming out after a decade. The public has never heard this side of the story. I wonder how many other "secrets" the DOI has that are keeping innocents from justice? Just makes a citizen and taxpayer wonder. Perhaps the Village Voice and media will give the truth a chance. I hope Mr. Caruso is victorious in his lawsuit. He shouldn't lose his job because he wouldn't lie for the DOI! Just sayin...

 
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