New questions surface about Bernard Kerik's U.S. Cabinet withdrawal decision

(12/12/04) FRANKLIN LAKES - New questions surfaced Sunday about the reasons behind Bernard Kerik's decision to withdraw his nomination to head the Homeland Security Department.

One local newspaper states that the former New York Police Commissioner failed to report thousands of dollars worth of cash and gifts he received while working for the city. Another reports that the Franklin Lakes resident engaged in an affair with a subordinate.

Senator Jon Corzine (D-New Jersey) calls the disappointing, but he blames the Bush administration for not doing a thorough background check before announcing the nomination. Corzine was hoping Kerik would help secure more homeland security funding for the state.

Members of the Bush administration say they thoroughly vetted Kerik and were surprised by the revelations. Administration officials say they are taking Kerik at his word that he did not deceive them on purpose, and they add it was solely Kerik's decision to withdraw.

Kerik has not responded to the latest allegations, but Saturday he told reporters questions about the legal status of a nanny he hired was the sole reason for withdrawing his name.

Related Stories:Kerik's withdrawal disappoints many in New JerseyCodey calls New Jersey homeland security cuts a "slap in the face"NJ resident Kerik gets hometown support for Homeland Security job

Related Link:Kerik's letter to President Bush

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