Jury Sees Video of CEO's Posh Apartment

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

Jurors in the Tyco International corporate larceny trial learned today during a video tour of the $18 million company-owned apartment where former Chief Executive Officer Dennis Kozlowski stayed when he was in New York City.

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, some $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, according to 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 District Attorney Consuelo Fernandez.

Art, Fancy Curtain

The videotape shows at least a dozen paintings, including a Monet and a Renoir, a $2,200 wastebasket, as well as the now-infamous $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 last 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 also said Kozlowski never lived in the corporate apartment and stayed there infrequently. Sometimes he was there one or two days out of 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 cooked a large meal of Polish food for Kozlowski.

Kozlowski's wife, Karen, 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."

Unauthorized Bonuses

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 some $600 million from Tyco. Each faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors allege that Kozlowski and Swartz stole $170 million by taking and hiding unauthorized pay and bonuses, raiding company loan programs and forgiving loans to themselves. They say the defendants made another $430 million on their Tyco stock by lying about the conglomerate's financial condition from 1995 into 2002.

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.

After the pricey shower curtain and umbrella stand made news last fall, they quickly became symbols of executive greed.

Prosecutors apparently hope those objects and other excesses allegedly paid for by Tyco have a negative impact on the jury.

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.

"Did Dennis ever ask you to lie to anyone about anything?" Stephen Kaufman, Kozlowski's lawyer, asked Tarnachowicz.

"No, he didn't," she replied.

The trial resumes Monday.

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