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Kerik may be headed for federal post

November 5, 2004

Biggest NYPD beneficiary of President George W. Bush's election victory: former Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Not only is Kerik, a fervent backer of the president, rumored to be headed for the Department of Homeland Security, he could also become a candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey.

Kerik explored running for governor in that state next year but washed out because he didn't meet the seven-year residency requirement.

But now there's Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine's Senate seat in 2006, made all the more enticing because Corzine is said to be considering giving it up to run for governor. He appoints his successor, which means his Senate replacement would have only a year in office by 2006.

As for Homeland Security, let's reiterate Kerik's Iraq credentials. Back in 2002, he signed on for six months in Baghdad to train the Iraqi police.

Neither he nor his top aide, John Picciano, were returning phone calls yesterday, perhaps because they were trying to come up with a credible story for why Kerik bugged out of Baghdad after only three months with no explanation.

The Wall. Retired Sgt. Mike Bosak spent a decade discovering that 77 cops supposedly killed in the line of duty during the 19th century never made the wall of honor in the lobby of One Police Plaza.

In 1996, his work complete - or so he thought - Bosak contacted the then-chief of personnel, the late Michael Markman. Bosak says Markman deep-sixed his project, which lay dormant for four years. Then, a chance meeting at a St. Patrick's Day celebration with former First Deputy Commissioner Pat Kelleher started it up again. Kerik signed on. First Deputy Joe Dunne was supportive.

In September 2000, then-Chief of Personnel James Lawrence scheduled a ceremony to honor Bosak's newly discovered cops. Then, 9/11 occurred and the matter was forgotten.

One might have suspected Ray Kelly to veto an idea supported by two of his least favorite people, Lynch and Kerik. Instead, earlier this year, Kelly appointed a committee of top brass, three-star chiefs Michael Scagnelli and Rafael Pineiro, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne and First Deputy Commissioner George Grasso, to examine each cop's credentials.

Yesterday, Kelly announced that the 60 officers Bosak found will be added to the wall and their descendants invited to the ceremony.

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© 2004 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.