Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik is the likely choice to head the federal Homeland Security Department during President George W. Bush’s second term, reports Newsday. Kerik would replace Tom Ridge, the first head of the department, who has announced his intention to resign once a successor is in place. Kerik, 49, served as police commissioner for 16 months during 2000 and 2001 and gained national prominence during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He previously was city corrections commissioner.
After leaving the police job, Kerik undertook a mission for the Bush administration to help train Iraqi police. He earned his spurs as a Bush loyalist by delivering a prime-time speech praising the president during the Republican convention and campaigning for him in the fall. Speculation about a move to Washington increased when Kerik sold $5-million worth of stock in Taser, the stun-gun manufacturer.