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Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat and a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he worked closely with Mr. Kerlikowske when he served as police commissioner of Buffalo.

Mr. Schumer said the administration had not approached him about the appointment, though he thought Mr. Kerlikowske would be a good choice.

“He’s very capable. He did a good job fighting crime in Buffalo,” Mr. Schumer said.

Mr. Schumer was not aware that Mr. Kerlikowske’s 39-year-old stepson was arrested last month for violating probation from a July 2007 felony battery charge and the two drug-related charges on his record. The violation was for not properly reporting his work hours and for not being in his home at the proper time, a joint review of court records by the Florida Sun-Sentinel and The Washington Times found.

Before the nomination, administration officials would not comment on Jeffrey Kerlikowske’s arrest, first reported by the blog Web of Deception.

Among the charges from Florida agencies were marijuana possession and distribution charges, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, cruelty to animals and larceny, according to police officials and public records.

For a week before he was nominated, Mr. Kerlikowske would not speak to either his potential nomination or his stepson’s arrest through spokeswoman Seattle Police Det. Renee Witt, who said, “He is declining to make any comments at this time,” and did not return follow-up phone calls.

Jeffrey Kerlikowske, who appears to have been adopted as a child by Mr. Kerlikowske during a previous marriage, was arrested Feb. 27 for a violation on a warrant related to an original conviction of felony battery out of Broward County, Fla., said a spokeswoman for the Martin County, Fla., sheriff.

In June 2007, after pleading no contest to battery, he was sentenced to one year and one day in state prison, to be followed by two years of drug-offender probation, to be followed by one year of regular probation.

In June 2008, he violated probation for an unspecified reason, and his sentence was modified to house arrest.

The drug charges included possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis in 2006 and distributing marijuana in 1998, both misdemeanors in Florida. Jeffery Kerlikowske was sentenced to one year’s probation for the 1998 charge and over the years he has served 32 days in jail.

An attorney representing Jeffrey Kerlikowske said the man’s father has not been discussed in any court proceedings.

Mr. Kerlikowske is the second prominent nominee from Washington state - joining Commerce Secretary-designate Gary Locke, the former governor.

The White House said the czar will have “full access and a direct line to the resident and the vice president” and a “seat at the table” for important decisions.

Mr. Kerlikowske will be tasked with developing and implementing an effective national strategy and coordinating drug policy between agencies, the White House said.

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