|Page 2 of 4 < >|
Giuliani's Kerik Woes Resurface Through Informant
"Larry Ray's accusations are completely false and without merit," said Daniel Connolly, a partner in Giuliani's security consulting firm. "Let us remember Mr. Ray is a convicted felon with a track record of dishonesty whose statements continue to lack one iota of credibility. As anyone familiar with Mr. Ray's history will attest, his character, credibility and motives are all quite suspect and any statements he makes should be judged accordingly."[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Kenneth Breen, an attorney for Kerik, said: "As we have consistently maintained, Bernie Kerik denies the allegations in the indictment and will address them in court. Larry Ray's accusations are not worthy of a response."
Speaking last Wednesday from the federal detention center in Brooklyn, Ray said that his motivation is to get the truth out.
"I could have negotiated a great deal for myself," he said in a telephone interview that was monitored by corrections officials. "If I wanted to forget about this thing, I could. But ultimately, this is about the truth. There's no motivation for me to walk away from the truth."
'Too Many Questions'
Larry Ray's five-year friendship with Kerik spanned the same time period that is now at the heart of the federal case against Kerik.
Ray, 48, met Kerik at a New Jersey bar during Kerik's rise through the ranks of the Giuliani mayoral administration. In the mid-1990s, Ray said, he and Kerik saw each other almost daily and they e-mailed frequently. Kerik often signed his missives to Ray, "I Love You -- B." In fall 1997, Kerik asked Ray to use his contacts in Russia to try to arrange a meeting between Giuliani and Gorbachev, Ray said. Among his many hats, Ray said that he had managed to become a security advance man for some of Gorbachev's trips to the United States.
"At first, I told him there was no way," Ray said in an interview. "Gorbachev met world leaders, not city mayors. But Bernie kept insisting, and eventually I made it happen."
Ray provided law enforcement officials with photos of the gathering that showed himself, Gorbachev, Giuliani and Kerik at City Hall as well as a letter from Gorbachev via an interpreter thanking him for arranging the New York visit. In addition, Ray provided copies of memos showing that he coordinated the visit with Kerik.
One December 1997 fax from Kerik to Ray, sent on the eve of Gorbachev's arrival, suggested that the city, not the FBI, should provide security for the visit. "This is not an official government trip. FBI is not indemnified being on duty. Off duty if something happens, there will be too many questions . . . that we don't want to be involved in," Kerik wrote. "There would be no questions of City personnel, not to mention the mayor is aware of the trip."
Connolly, Giuliani's partner, said the former mayor "denies making any request of Bernie Kerik or Larry Ray to arrange a meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev."
In the late 1990s, Ray worked as a security consultant for Interstate Industrial, a New Jersey construction company that had been wrestling with allegations of ties to a New York crime family. Kerik, then commissioner of New York's corrections department, offered to help Interstate contest those allegations so it could win contracts from Giuliani's administration, according to the indictment. At the same time, Kerik accepted $255,000 in illegal gifts from Interstate that included extensive renovations to one of his apartments, prosecutors say in court records. The Giuliani administration never approved Interstate for the contracts.
New York investigators told The Post that Ray provided evidence to them before Kerik pleaded guilty in June 2006 to two state misdemeanor charges involving the gifts. Ray also provided similar evidence to the FBI before the recent federal indictment of Kerik on corruption and tax charges, according to interviews with law enforcement officials and e-mails between Ray and the FBI obtained by The Post.