Bernard Kerik withdraws as a nominee to head the Homeland Security Department

The personal attorney for Bernard Kerik says the former New York Police Commissioner decided on his own to withdraw as the nominee to head the Homeland Security Department.

Kerik called President Bush yesterday to tell him he's taking himself out of the running after learning there are questions about the immigration status of a nanny he had employed.

His attorney says Kerik ``who uncovered this on his own'' brought it himself to the White House's attention.

His nomination had been widely praised by both Democrats and Republicans.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said in a telephone interview Friday night that he's disappointed but agrees with the decision given the Homeland Security Director's responsibility for immigration.

The White House is now searching for someone else to fill the spot being vacated by Tom Ridge.