September 9, 2005

Mike Brown no longer running FEMA

Wonderful news this morning from Yahoo/AP:
FEMA Chief Relieved of Katrina Command
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 relief command Friday.

He will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was overseeing New Orleans relief, recovery and rescue efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced.

Earlier, Brown confirmed the switch. Asked if he was being made a scapegoat for a federal relief effort that has drawn widespread and sharp criticism, Brown told The Associated Press after a long pause: "By the press, yes. By the president, no."

"Michael Brown has done everything he possibly could to coordinate the federal response to this unprecedented challenge," Chertoff told reporters in Baton Rouge, La. Chertoff sidestepped a question on whether the move was the first step toward Brown's leaving FEMA.

But a source close to Brown, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the FEMA director had been considering leaving after the hurricane season ended in November and that Friday's action virtually assures his departure.
"considering leaving after the hurricane season ended in November" riiiggghhhtttt... Not exactly the most graceful exit but a good and quick one. I was expecting him to be given an adviser and to announce his retirement in a month or two. Having him be removed from Katrina work is perfect. I had written earlier about Brown's previous work history -- the Yahoo/AP article covers this as well, adding some new info:
Brown's official biography on the FEMA Web site says that his background in state and local government also includes serving as "an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight" and as a city councilman.

But a former mayor of Edmond, Randel Shadid, told The Associated Press on Friday that Brown had been an assistant to the city manager. Shadid said Brown was never assistant city manager. "I think there's a difference between the two positions," said Shadid. "I would think that is a discrepancy."
Separately, Newsday reported another discrepancy regarding Brown's background. The official White House announcement of Brown's nomination to head FEMA in January 2003 lists his previous experience as "the Executive Director of the Independent Electrical Contractors," a trade group based in Alexandria, Va.

Two officials of the group told Newsday this week that Brown never was the national head of the group but did serve as the executive director of a regional chapter, based in Colorado.
Buhbye... Posted by DaveH at September 9, 2005 12:20 PM
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