It's not enough that Bernard Bailey Kerik, the city's 40th police commissioner, who later served as an interior minister in Iraq and was nominated to head the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, spent four years in federal prison for criminal conspiracy and tax fraud, among other charges.
Or that he claims his lawyer and former best bud, Joe Tacopina, betrayed him.
Or that he remains on federal probation, prevented from traveling to the Middle East, where he might make big bucks as a security consultant.
Now, Kerik appears to be Police Commissioner Lawrence Brock of the novel "Badge of Evil," written by journalist Craig Horowitz and celebrity cop Bill Stanton, who also has an interesting past. After just a year in the NYPD, he reportedly received a disability pension when he injured his trigger finger and supposedly was unable to shoot a gun.
According to the New York Post's Page Six, Brock is "an ambitious, headline-grabbing NYPD commissioner being touted for a promotion to Homeland Security."
"They say it's fiction because they don't want to be sued," Kerik said in a telephone interview.
"Badge of Evil" is published by Kerik's former lover and publisher, Judith Regan, who is back in the book business after nine years -- and with a $10 million settlement check from Rupert Murdoch, who fired her.
And the novel has a notable fan, another of Kerik's past loves. Known to readers of this column as "Bernie's Secret Lady," she is the author of the blog "Doing Time With Bernie," which she describes as "telling my truth of an accidental intimate relationship" with Kerik. She says the relationship included 12 visits to the Cumberland, Maryland, federal prison where Kerik was incarcerated from 2010 to 2013; 135 letters from Kerik; 150 phone calls and 735 emails.
Of "Badge of Evil," she wrote in her blog, "Did felon Bernard Kerik inspire the corrupt commish character in the must-read novel of the summer 'Badge of Evil'? . . . Of course, it's Bernie."
Meanwhile, in an email, Regan says of "Badge of Evil," "It is a riveting read, fully imagined by Craig Horowitz, a longtime NY Mag writer who covered the NYPD, and Bill Stanton who worked there. When I read it, I couldn't put it down . . . They are a dynamic team and they are great thriller writers with a future."