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Former NYC Commissioner To Replace Outgoing Ridge

WASHINGTON — Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik is reportedly President George W. Bush’s choice to lead to the Homeland Security Department, replacing Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, who resigned earlier this week.

Bernard Kerik was commissioner of the New York City Police Department at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Senior administration officials said Kerik’s selection will be announced soon — possibly on Friday.

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 post, he undertook a mission for the Bush administration to help train Iraqi police.

The White House declined to comment on the appointment.

Ridge told reporters in Washington that he is hoping to stay on the job through February, unless a successor is confirmed before then.

Ridge is the seventh Bush Cabinet member to leave since the president was re-elected earlier this month.

Ridge’s name has become synonymous with the color-coded terror alerts and tutorials for Americans on how to prepare for a possible attack.

In other news, The Associated Press reported that United Nations Ambassador John Danforth resigned Thursday.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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