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Friday, November 30, 2007

Rudy's Judy Problem

by digby

Matthews says today, (paraphrasing) "are we really writing off Rudy because of some billing records? Hillary Clinton's got billing records up to ying yang and we haven't figured that out yet."

He was very depressed about these new revelations about his hero Rudy the manly, mans man. When a guest suggested that Rudy really couldn't take credit for reducing all the crime in New York because his predecessor had successfully persuaded the state to provide money for 5,000 more police before he left office, Chris objected saying that it was true on a "symbolic level" whatever that means.

I assume that Chris doesn't think this is any big deal either, being as Rudy's a big city man, a man dripping with manliness who acts like a man when a man needs to be a man:

The revelations continue in the case of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the security detail for Judith Nathan, his one-time mistress who is now his wife.

Did Nathan misuse the city police detail that Giuliani assigned to protect her?

At the dawn of 2001, Nathan was Giuliani's good friend and was receiving a blanket of police protection.

It was an unusual circumstance. His wife, first lady Donna Hanover, was still living at Gracie Mansion with their children.

But the mayor was unapologetic, citing security concerns.

"If you had any concern for people's safety, you'd have the decency to leave it alone. You should be ashamed of yourselves," the former mayor said back in 2001.

Six years later, presidential candidate Giuliani is facing questions about that security. A source involved with the mayor's operations at the time tells CBS 2 HD that Nathan took flagrant advantage of that police car and driver.

The source says Nathan forced police to chauffeur her friends and family around the city -- even when she wasn't in the car.

That set off alarms with ethics watchdogs.

"The rules are clear, you can't use city resources for private reasons," said Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "And if you're using a city car, a police driven car to chauffeur around relatives, unless they're explicitly protected and their [sic] deemed to be the subject of potential security threats, it's just wrong."

Nathan's detail was approved by the NYPD after a stranger made an unspecified threat to her. The commissioner at the time was Bernard Kerik, who was recently indicted on tax fraud charges in an unrelated matter.

"It wasn't about her being the mayor's girlfriend," Kerik said. "The person spoke to her by name and made comments to her."

On Friday, Giuliani avoided reporters' questions about the security for Nathan back then. He told reporters off camera "we've explained it."

Giuliani's press secretary, Maria Comella, angrily denounced the use of an unnamed source in this story.

But she did not deny the assertion that Nathan used her police detail to ferry around friends and family.

And she repeated what Giuliani has said about reports questioning how his security detail was financed, saying, "This is nothing more than partisan politics aimed at the Republican front-runner."

Ok, maybe there's nothing wrong with that. Bernie Kerik, once more stepping into the breach, says that the security had nothing to do with her being the mayor's mistress. I didn't know that the NYPD offered personal security to every citizen who is threatened, but that's a nice perk you New Yorkers have going there. (Here in LA we're told to lock our doors and keep and eye out for anybody who looks suspicious.)

But I'm looking forward to hearing him explain how his girlfriend having the NYPD ferry her friends around New York is substantially different from this:

The state's chief financial officer, Comptroller Alan Hevesi, resigned Friday and pleaded guilty to a felony for using state a employee as his wife's chauffeur.

The plea effectively ended Hevesi's 35-year political career and wrapped up an investigation by Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who had been presenting evidence about Hevesi to a grand jury.

Hevesi, 66, will serve no jail time. He agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and to not file any appeals. He also agreed not to take office on Jan. 1. The New York City Democrat had been re-elected in November despite amid the scandal.


In court, Hevesi acknowledged that he used a state employee to provide services for his wife that "could not be properly characterized as security" during 2005 and 2006.

Hevesi admitted to defrauding the government, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 1 1/3 to four years in prison. He must submit DNA for the state's databank and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 9.

In October, the bipartisan state Ethics Commission determined his use of state employees as chauffeurs violated state law.

Rudy is reported to be acting like his old, pissed-off self, refusing to answer questions, and his security is manhandling the reporters. He seems a little bit unnerved. I wonder why?