When you’re very rich, and a New York judge puts you under house arrest as you await trial for a serious felony, this is the kind of place you have to live in.
Click the link and get a video tour of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s new living quarters, uploaded by NBC New York. Sure beats a cell in Rikers Island. Hell, sure beats a house in the suburbs.
The fact that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was granted a release on bail today isn’t surprising. He’s wealthy and he can afford to put down the $1 million in cash the court demanded. Here are the details from the Wall Street Journal:
Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be released Friday from a New York jail where he has been locked up since Monday on charges he sexually assaulted a hotel maid.
State Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus agreed on Thursday to release Mr. Strauss-Kahn on a package that included a $1 million cash bail, a $5 million bond and 24-hour home confinement in a Manhattan apartment rented by his wife.
The detention would be enforced by video surveillance and an armed guard from security firm Stroz-Friedberg.
Judge Obus’ decision came after prosecutors revealed a grand jury indicted Mr. Strauss-Kahn.
What is surprising is that he spent several days at Rikers Island. That isn’t a minimum security country club like the ones white collar criminals usually end up in; it’s a full-blown hardcore jail with extremely dangerous people in it. Here’s a link describing it. I grew up in New York, and there was nothing scarier than the thought of ending up at Rikers. Of course, DSK was held away from the main population. Otherwise, they would have destroyed him … literally. But even being held in a secure place from hardcore prisoners would take a toll on anyone. The photo of him on the left is proof of that.
But with bail, he gets to go to his New York City home. There are stringent rules. He will be in posh surroundings, but he will be in prison. And he better not screw up, because if he tries to get away and fails, he will be in Rikers. The guards won’t be as lenient.
This has to rank as one of the most spectacular falls from grace in history (From the Wall Street Journal):
Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund, ending a leadership crisis at the organization following charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid in New York.
In a letter to the board, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said: “I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me.”
The letter said Mr. Strauss-Kahn, being held in a New York jail on sexual-assault charges, would resign with immediate effect.
“I want to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion, and especially—especially—I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence,” the letter said.
The IMF, which released the letter just after midnight Thursday, said it “will communicate in the near future on the Executive Board’s process of selecting a new Managing Director.”
Less than a week ago, he was one of the most powerful financiers in the world, the head of a global institution negotiating deals to resolve the European debt crisis, and an expected contender for the French presidency. Today, he’s sitting in a cell at Rikers Island in New York, charged with attempted rape, and his lawyer are expected to offer the court $1 million in cash to get him out on bail.
I can’t immediately think of anyone who has fallen so far, so fast.