Bernie Kerik withdraws name
Kerik Withdraws His Name for DHS Chief
WASHINGTON - Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, President Bush (news - web sites)'s choice to be homeland security secretary, has withdrawn his name from consideration, the White House announced late Friday.
Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan, in a conference call to news organizations, revealed that Kerik had withdrawn "for personal reasons."
"The president respects his decision and wishes the commissioner and his wife, Hala, well," McClellan said in a statement.
"Commissioner Kerik is withdrawing his name from director of homeland security," the spokesman said. "He informed the White House this evening that he was withdrawing for personal reasons from consideration to be secretary of homeland security."
McClellan said that Kerik telephoned the president at about 8:30 p.m. EST. Kerik also sent a letter to the White House in which he announced his wishes.
McClellan said the White House "will move as quickly as we can to name someone else to fill this nomination."
Bush's nomination of Kerik quickly proved controversial. News reports in recent days focused on revelations that Kerik had made millions of dollars a stun gun company that sold weapons to the Homeland Security Department and which wants more business. The White House had said that Kerik would avoid any conflicts of interest.
Records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show Kerik made $6.2 million by exercising stock options he received from Taser International. He has been a consultant for the company and still serves on its board of directors, although the company and the White House said he planned to sever the relationship.
Kerik, 49, had been selected by Bush to succeed Tom Ridge in the Cabinet-level position, heading a huge federal agency that was founded in reaction to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks against New York and Washington.
Kerik's office said he was not available for comment for the story about his financial dealings. But a White House spokesman, Brian Besanceney, had said earlier that the nominee would avoid any possible conflict of interest.
"Commissioner Kerik is committed to the highest ethical standards and will divest all his holdings in Taser upon Senate confirmation to avoid a conflict of interest," Besanceney said. "In order to avoid even the appearance of a conflict, he will comply with all ethics laws and rules to avoid actions that affect former clients or organizations where he served as a director."
Bernie? Quit a job early?
You mean like Iraq?
Seems they found an illegal nanny who he didn't pay taxes on.
What a knucklehead. Why did he even take the job? Jesus christ on a crutch.
I feel stupid. I should have been screaming about this guy's lack of qualifications instead of hoping for him to give the city some money. Stupid me.
posted by Steve @ 1:00:00 AM