September 9, 2005
UPDATED: Just seen on AP that Brown has been relieved of his Katrina duties and replaced by Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad W. Allen, who has been overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts.
ORIGINAL POST: I know I’m obsessing, but Michael Brown really does need to be fired right now:
Before joining FEMA, [Brown’s] only previous stint in emergency management, according to his bio posted on FEMA’s website [link now dead], 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. […] “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 FindLaw.com — 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.”
… 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.” […] 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.”
And so on and on. Naturally all of these online references are being reworked by Brown’s minions.
Still, Brown’s previous experience at the International Arabian Horse Association has—with hindsight—been invaluable in the days following Katrina:
“He’s done a hell of a job, because I’m not aware of any Arabian horses being killed in this storm,” said Kate Hale, former Miami-Dade emergency management chief.
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