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Jurors in Tyco Trial See Videotape of Ex-CEO's $18-Million Apartment

Prosecutors show off a $6,000 shower curtain in the maid's bathroom, a $2,200 wastebasket and a $15,000 umbrella stand.

November 26, 2003|From Associated Press

It turns out that $6,000 shower curtain is in the maid's room.

Jurors in the corporate larceny trial of two former executives of Tyco International Ltd. learned this during a video tour Tuesday of the $18-million, company-owned apartment where former Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski stayed when he was in New York.

The 15-minute tape, recorded in May 2002 and July 2003, shows a sumptuously appointed duplex occupying the 10th and 11th floors of 950 Fifth Ave.

Besides the purchase price, prosecutors say, about $14 million was spent to renovate and furnish it.

Entry to the lavish flat was through a 20-foot by 20-foot foyer decorated with $500,000 worth of hand-painted birds, said John Taylor, Tyco's director of construction for five years until last June.

The video tour guide was Mariola Tarnachowicz, the Kozlowskis' former housekeeper. As the camera moved through the apartment, Tarnachowicz identified the rooms and several objects pointed out by Assistant Dist. Atty. Consuelo Fernandez.

The videotape shows at least a dozen paintings, including a Monet and a Renoir, a $2,200 wastebasket and a $15,000 umbrella stand. The stand is a sculpted terrier on its hind legs with a brass ring through its paws to hold umbrellas.

Tarnachowicz, who made more than $80,000 the year before Tyco fired her in May, pointed out the $6,000 shower curtain. The curtain, in a gold-and-burgundy floral pattern, was in the maid's bathroom.

Tarnachowicz said one had to go through at least two doors to see the curtain, raising the possibility that Kozlowski never saw it after it was in the apartment.

She said Kozlowski had never lived in the apartment. Sometimes, she said, he was there one or two days a week, sometimes for a month, and occasionally he would show up just to change clothes.

The former maid also said she often had been treated like a guest in the Kozlowskis' homes and had invited them to her own home for dinner. Tarnachowicz said she once had cooked a large meal of Polish food for Kozlowski.

Karen Kozlowski, sitting in the audience, started weeping. "She said some very nice things about us," she said later. "For once, it's nice to hear."

The former CEO said he also appreciated the things Tarnachowicz said about him. "She's very nice," he said. "She's been like family to us."

Kozlowski, 56, and Tyco's former chief financial officer, Mark Swartz, 43, are on trial in Manhattan's state Supreme Court charged with grand larceny and enterprise corruption. They are accused of stealing $170 million from Tyco and making $430 million on sales of Tyco stock at inflated prices. Each faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Defense lawyers say Kozlowski and Swartz earned all the benefits they got from Tyco and that all the appropriate overseers knew about their compensation and loans.

Defense lawyers blunted the effect of testimony by Taylor and Tarnachowicz by asking both whether Kozlowski or Swartz had ever asked them to charge either of the executives' expenses to the company, or lie about any expenditures.

Taylor, who had worked on properties for both executives, said they had not.

The trial resumes Monday.

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