Thursday, December 02, 2004

Kerik Cashes In Before His Appointment?

When Tom Ridge resigned as Secretary of Homeland Security, the reason was that he wanted to of course, spend time with his family, but he was allegedly telling associates that he wanted to go out into the private sector and make some money for his family. Good for him. Twenty years of honorable government service, not including his heroism in Vietnam. Go for it. And thank you for a job well done.

His replacement rumored to be ex-NYC police chief Bernard Kerik. Most of you are familiar with him from his role during 9/11 and his more recent work training the Iraqi police forces.

Whereas Ridge is leaving to make some money, perhaps Kerik knew he was heading back into government life as he recently sold 306,498 shares of controversial stun gun maker Taser (Nasdaq: TASR). The estimated value of that sale is $11 million dollars according to Barron's. That should take the sting out of his $145,000 salary as Homeland Security.

Kerik is on the Board of Directors and his filing is available for all to see. I have no problem with Kerik making moeny in the private sector. Taser has been a wildly successful stock this year, up 378.96%! Why not sell some?

Taser is rather controversial and their CEO does seem like a loose cannon. If there are any corporate governance skeletons in the closet, Kerik may have to answer for that, and his fat compensation, during his comformation hearings.