NEW YORK - Former police commissioner and one-time Cabinet nominee Bernard Kerik said Wednesday he will leave Giuliani Partners, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's consulting firm.
At a news conference in Manhattan, Kerik said he had apologized to Giuliani for being a distraction because of his messy withdrawal as a candidate to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Kerik had been CEO of Giuliani-Kerik LLC, an affiliate of Giuliani Partners LLC. In a statement Wednesday, Giuliani said Giuliani-Kerik would be renamed Giuliani Security & Safety.
Kerik said he told Giuliani his resignation would be effective immediately. He said he would seek other unspecified business opportunities, and did not take questions from reporters.
''After careful consideration, I have decided that it is in the best interests of my family, my colleagues and our clients that I resign my position with Giuliani Partners and Giuliani-Kerik,'' Kerik said.
''I am confident that I will be vindicated from any allegation of wrongdoing,'' he added.
Giuliani said he had not asked for Kerik's resignation.
''He made the decision,'' the former mayor said at a later news conference. ''The impetus came from Bernie. I think he made the right decision for himself and his family. No one or anyone can take away from him the incredible bravery.''
President Bush tapped Kerik, 49, earlier this month as his nominee for homeland security secretary, but Kerik abruptly withdrew his name Dec. 10 after revealing that he had not paid all required taxes for a family nanny-housekeeper and that the woman may have been in the country illegally.
He has been hit with other allegations as well, including that he had connections with people suspected of doing business with the mob and that he had simultaneous extramarital affairs with two women.
Kerik's nomination became a political embarrassment for Giuliani, a rising star in the GOP who had recommended his friend and business partner to Bush.
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