Friday, September 09, 2005

FEMA Director Brown is Sacked;
Resume Allegedly Falsified

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown, the principal target of harsh criticism of the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, was relieved of his onsite command Friday. Apparently, reports Time magazine, not only were the results of his FEMA stewardship less than spectacular, but he lied on the resume that got him the job in the first place. The following is all excerpted and condensed from the article at Time.

His resume states that before joining FEMA he was "serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight." The White House press release from 2001 stated that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 "overseeing the emergency services division." In fact, according to Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city of Edmond, Brown was an "assistant to the city manager" from 1977 to 1980, not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees. "The assistant is more like an intern," she told TIME. "Department heads did not report to him." Brown did do a good job at his humble position, however, according to his boss. "Yes. Mike Brown worked for me. He was my administrative assistant. He was a student at Central State University," recalls former city manager Bill Dashner. "Mike used to handle a lot of details. Every now and again I'd ask him to write me a speech. He was very loyal. He was always on time. He always had on a suit and a starched white shirt."

Under the "honors and awards" section of his profile at he lists "Outstanding Political Science Professor, Central State University". However, Brown "wasn't a professor here, he was only a student here," says Charles Johnson, News Bureau Director in the University Relations office at the University of Central Oklahoma (formerly named Central State University). Johnson could not confirm that Brown made the Dean's list or was an "Outstanding Political Science Senior," as is stated on his online profile.

Under the heading of "Professional Associations and Memberships" on FindLaw, Brown states that from 1983 to the present he has been director of the Oklahoma Christian Home, a nursing home in Edmond. But an administrator with the Home told TIME that Brown is "not a person that anyone here is familiar with." She says there was a board of directors until a couple of years ago, but she couldn't find anyone who recalled him being on it.

Brown's FindLaw profile lists a wide range of areas of legal practice, from estate planning to family law to sports. However, one former colleague does not remember Brown's work as sterling. Stephen Jones, a prominent Oklahoma lawyer who was lead defense attorney on the Timothy McVeigh case, was Brown's boss for two-and-a-half years in the early '80s. "He did mainly transactional work, not litigation," says Jones. "There was a feeling that he was not serious and somewhat shallow."

Most strange so far: the FindLaw profile for Brown was amended on Thursday to remove a reference to his tenure at the International Arabian Horse Association, which has become a contested point.


Joey M. said...

Sorry I had to ask this as a comment, but whatever happened to the Hot Food to Go! record you were selling in January? Did it sell? If it didn't, I'll gladly buy it off of you. Email me at

Jack's Shack said...

Brown is done.

Rags said...

And just think, only two weeks too late.

The question that comes to my (cynical) mind is whether Brown faked his resume on his own, or was he coached by the White House to do it, so W could feel better about hiring an unqualified crony for yet another post?

Stephen (aka Q) said...

I've linked to your post with the following comment:

The implicit question is, does this let President Bush off the hook for making the appointment, which has had such disastrous consequences? Or is it still relevant that Michael Brown is a buddy of a buddy of GWB?

On The Mark said...

If true, the issue isn't that he lied on his resume, it's that these lies made it past security checks when he was hired. I used to think the show "24" was fantasy (oh, no, not another spy in our midst), but now it looks like it may be more real than we thought.