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  • Report: FEMA director's resume has false info?

    Yes, another thread....

    Thursday, Sep. 08, 2005
    How Reliable Is Brown's Resume?
    A TIME investigation reveals discrepancies in the FEMA chief's official biographies

    When President Bush nominated Michael Brown to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2003, Brown's boss at the time, Joe Allbaugh, declared, "the President couldn't have chosen a better man to help...prepare and protect the nation." But how well was he prepared for the job? Since Hurricane Katrina, the FEMA director has come under heavy criticism for his performance and scrutiny of his background. Now, an investigation by TIME has found discrepancies in his online legal profile and official bio, including a description of Brown released by the White House at the time of his nomination in 2001 to the job as deputy chief of FEMA. (Brown became Director of FEMA, succeeding Allbaugh, in 2003.)

    Before joining FEMA, his only previous stint in emergency management, according to his bio posted on FEMA's website, 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."

    In response, Nicol Andrews, deputy strategic director in FEMA's office of public affairs, insists that while Brown began as an intern, he became an "assistant city manager" with a distinguished record of service. "According to Mike Brown," she says, "a large portion [of the points raised by TIME] is very inaccurate."

    Brown's lack of experience in emergency management isn't the only apparent bit of padding on his resume, which raises questions about how rigorously the White House vetted him before putting him in charge of FEMA. Under the "honors and awards" section of his profile at — which is information on the legal website provided by lawyers or their offices—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). "He may have been an adjunct instructor," says Johnson, but that title is very different from that of "professor." Carl Reherman, a former political science professor at the University through the '70s and '80s, says that Brown "was not on the faculty." As for the honor of "Outstanding Political Science Professor," Johnson says, "I spoke with the department chair yesterday and he's not aware of it." 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.

    Speaking for Brown, Andrews says that Brown has never claimed to be a political science professor, in spite of what his profile in FindLaw indicates. "He was named the outstanding political science senior at Central State, and was an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City School of Law."

    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. According to FEMA's Andrews, Brown said "he's never claimed to be the director of the home. He was on the board of directors, or governors of the nursing home." However, a veteran employee at the center since 1981 says Brown "was never director here, was never on the board of directors, was never executive director. He was never here in any capacity. I never heard his name mentioned here."

    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.

    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." Jones says when his law firm split, Brown was one of two staffers who was let go.

    — With reporting by Jeremy Caplan, Carolina A. Miranda/New York; Nathan Thornburgh/Baton Rouge; Levi Clark/Edmond; Massimo Calabresi and Mark Thompson/Washington

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

    "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011


    • #3
      Has he applied for the Notre Dame job?
      From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

      For more than 20 years I have endeavored-indeed, I have struggled-along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural & substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor.

      I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

      The path the Court has chosen lessens us all. I dissent.


      • #4
        Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job.
        Dude. Can. Fly.


        • #5
          I'm fit for the job, disaster boss sez

          By HELEN KENNEDY

          Embattled FEMA head Mike Brown insists he is well-qualified to lead the nation's disaster response agency - though he spent his time before joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency probing whether a breeder was performing liposuction on a horse's rear end.
          Brown, who is now engulfed in a storm of calls for his head, was a family lawyer and GOP functionary who also was a roommate of President Bush's campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh.

          "When Bush was elected, Mike knew he was going to Washington," said Lorre Wagner, a Brown friend.

          Brown went to FEMA in 2001 as Allbaugh's deputy and took over the top job in 2003. That his only relevant experience was a short stint 30 years ago overseeing emergency services in a sleepy suburb of Oklahoma City was never mentioned.

          He did "perform above the call" during the one serious tornado to hit Edmond, Okla., said former Mayor Carl Reherman.

          Brown's official government biography oddly doesn't mention it, but he spent the decade before he went to Washington enforcing horse show rules as commissioner of judges for the International Arabian Horse Association.

          His big project was a year-long, million-dollar probe of breeder David Boggs, who was accused of prettying up his horses with plastic surgery, including liposuctioning a grey mare with a big rump, tattooing the too-pink white of the eye of another mare and cutting some rump muscles in a gelding to correct the hang of his tail.

          Brown proved some of his charges, and Boggs was suspended for five years.

          Mary Anne Grimmell, a past president of the horse group, said Brown's work with them would not have prepared him for disaster relief - but surviving the Byzantine battles inside the world of Arabian horses could help him with the current finger-pointing in Washington.

          "He took all the brunt of all the hatred," she said. "I think that what he went through with us will stand him in good stead."

          Asked Monday about his qualifications, Brown confidently recited his résumé since joining FEMA, including handling 164 disaster declarations, including California wildfires, Midwestern tornadoes and last year's Florida hurricanes.

          "So yes, I've been through a few disasters in my life," he said.

          But it's a word that many are also applying to his performance last week.

          Brown, 50, has not given a TV interview since ham-fisted appearances Thursday on CNN and ABC in which he blamed the dead for not evacuating, wrongly assured viewers that hospital evacuations were being completed, said he'd heard "no reports of unrest" and admitted he'd only just learned of the thousands trapped without food and water at the New Orleans convention center.

          Brown's on-air cluelessness, coupled with stories of FEMA delaying, bungling and even turning back aid, has put a giant target on his back.

          Republican Sen. Trent Lott took aim, warning CBS that if Brown doesn't take swift action, "he ain't gonna be able to hold a job, 'cause what I'm going to do to him ain't gonna be pretty."

          Just about the only person with any praise for Brown these days is Bush, who said Friday, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

          Originally published on September 7, 2005
          Dude. Can. Fly.


          • #6
            Mike Brown should go back to probing whether a breeder was performing liposuction on a horse's ass.
            “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

            Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.


            • #7
              More evidence of what a bunch of fuckups they are at FEMA


              Five of eight top Federal Emergency Management Agency officials came to their posts with virtually no experience in handling disasters and now lead an agency whose ranks of seasoned crisis managers have thinned dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

              FEMA's top three leaders -- Director Michael D. Brown, Chief of Staff Patrick J. Rhode and Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks D. Altshuler -- arrived with ties to President Bush's 2000 campaign or to the White House advance operation, according to the agency. Two other senior operational jobs are filled by a former Republican lieutenant governor of Nebraska and a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official who was once a political operative.

              Meanwhile, veterans such as U.S. hurricane specialist Eric Tolbert and World Trade Center disaster managers Laurence W. Zensinger and Bruce P. Baughman -- who led FEMA's offices of response, recovery and preparedness, respectively -- have left since 2003, taking jobs as consultants or state emergency managers, according to current and former officials.

              Because of the turnover, three of the five FEMA chiefs for natural disaster-related operations and nine of 10 regional directors are working in an acting capacity, agency officials said.

              Patronage appointments to the crisis-response agency is nothing new to Washington administrations. But inexperience in FEMA's top ranks is emerging as a key concern of local, state and federal leaders as investigators begin to sift through what the government has admitted was a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.

              "FEMA requires strong leadership and experience because state and local governments rely on them," said Trina Sheets, executive director of the National Emergency Management Association. "When you don't have trained, qualified people in those positions, the program suffers as a whole."

              Scorching criticism
              Last week's greatest foe was, of course, a storm of such magnitude that it "overwhelmed" all levels of government, according to Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine). And several top FEMA officials are well-regarded by state and private counterparts in disaster preparedness and response.

              They include Edward G. Buikema, acting director of response since February, and Kenneth O. Burris, acting chief of operations, a career firefighter and former Marietta, Ga., fire chief.

              But scorching criticism has been aimed at FEMA, and it starts at the top with Brown, who has admitted to errors in responding to Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in New Orleans. The Oklahoma native, 50, was hired to the agency after a rocky tenure as commissioner of a horse sporting group by former FEMA director Joe M. Allbaugh, the 2000 Bush campaign manager and a college friend of Brown's.

              Rhode, Brown's chief of staff, is a former television reporter who came to Washington as advance deputy director for Bush's Austin-based 2000 campaign and then the White House. He joined FEMA in April 2003 after stints at the Commerce Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

              Altshuler is a former presidential advance man. His predecessor, Scott Morris, was a media strategist for Bush with the Austin firm Maverick Media.

              David I. Maurstad, who stepped down as Nebraska lieutenant governor in 2001 to join FEMA, has served as acting director for risk reduction and federal insurance administrator since June 2004. Daniel Craig, a one-time political fundraiser and campaign advisor, came to FEMA in 2001 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he directed the eastern regional office, after working as a lobbyist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

              Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said Brown has managed more than 160 natural disasters as FEMA general counsel and deputy director since 2001, "hands-on experience [that] cannot be understated. Other leadership at FEMA brings particular skill sets -- policy management leadership, for example."

              Deep bench
              The agency has a deep bench of career professionals, said FEMA spokeswoman Nicol Andrews, including two dozen senior field coordinators and Gil Jamieson, director of risk assessment. "Simply because folks who have left the agency have a disagreement with how it's being run doesn't necessarily indicate that there is a lack of experience leading it," she said.

              Andrews said the "acting" designation for regional officials is a designation that signifies that they are FEMA civil servants -- not political appointees.

              Touring the wrecked Gulf Coast with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff yesterday, Vice President Cheney also defended FEMA leaders, saying, "We're always trying to strike the right balance" between political appointees and "career professionals that fill the jobs underneath them."

              But experts inside and out of government said a "brain drain" of experienced disaster hands throughout the agency, hastened in part by the appointment of leaders without backgrounds in emergency management, has weakened the agency's ability to respond to natural disasters. Some security experts and congressional critics say the exodus was fueled by a bureaucratic reshuffling in Washington in 2003, when FEMA was stripped of its independent Cabinet-level status and folded into the Department of Homeland Security.

              Emergency preparedness has atrophied as a result, some analysts said, extending from Washington to localities.

              "[FEMA] has gone downhill within the department, drained of resources and leadership," said I.M. "Mac" Destler, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. "The crippling of FEMA was one important reason why it failed."

              Richard A. Andrews, former emergency services director for the state of California and a member of the president's Homeland Security Advisory Council, said state and local failures were critical in the Katrina response, but competence, funding and political will in Washington were also lacking.

              Low rankings
              "I do not think fundamentally this is an organizational issue," Andrews said. "You need people in there who have both experience and the confidence of the president, who are able to fight and articulate what FEMA's mission and role is, and who understand how emergency management works."

              The agency's troubles are no secret. The Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit group that promotes careers in federal government, ranked FEMA last of 28 agencies studied in 2003.

              In its list of best places to work in the government, a 2004 survey by the American Federation of Government Employees found that of 84 career FEMA professionals who responded, only 10 people ranked agency leaders excellent or good.

              Another 28 said the leadership was fair and 33 called it poor.

              More than 50 said they would move to another agency if they could remain at the same pay grade, and 67 ranked the agency as poorer since its merger into the Department of Homeland Security.
              “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

              Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.


              • #8
                Damn shame that they had warnings about the performance of this department, yet nothing was done about it.
                Official sponsor of Mike Shannon's Retirement Party


                • #9
                  Patronage appointments to the crisis-response agency is nothing new to Washington administrations.
                  Might be time to start rethinking that trend.


                  • #10
                    The Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit group that promotes careers in federal government...
                    And they have been wildly successful.

                    In its list of best places to work in the government, a 2004 survey by the American Federation of Government Employees found that of 84 career FEMA professionals who responded, only 10 people ranked agency leaders excellent or good.

                    Every hardworking "Partner for Public Service" (i.e. federal government employee, sorry, professional) deserves good leaders.

                    I'm outraged for our Partners.

                    lazy should apologize.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Reggie Cleveland@Sep 9 2005, 08:20 AM
                      Patronage appointments to the crisis-response agency is nothing new to Washington administrations.
                      Might be time to start rethinking that trend.
                      I guess that's what we get for having so many years without serious disasters (pre-9/11 and Katrina).

                      There's not excuse for that crap. Appoint the best of the best.
                      "Need some wood?" -- George W. Bush, October 8, 2004

                      "Historians will judge if this war is just, not your punk ass." -- Dave Glover, December 8, 2004


                      • #12
                        Apparently Lieberman's committee took all of 45 minutes to confirm this mofo. Unreal.
                        Dude. Can. Fly.