Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Friday, September 09, 2005
Let Brown Fake It

Brownie pictured doing a "Heck of a job".

TIME magazine did some digging into FEMA Director Michael Brown’s official biography at the Federal Agency, a 2001 White House press release and with his resume published online at the legal website and “found some discrepancies”:

Before joining FEMA, his only previous stint in emergency management…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”…according to Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city…Brown was an "assistant to the city manager"…not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees. "The assistant is more like an intern."

Under the "honors and awards" section of his
profile at…[Brown] 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)…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."

Brown states [on] that from 1983 to the present he has been director of the Oklahoma Christian Home, a nursing home in Edmond. But an administrator…told TIME that Brown is "not a person that anyone here is familiar with."

Michael Brown was confirmed at a 42-minute hearing before the Senate’s Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Joseph Lieberman on June 19, 2002.
A PDF transcript of that hearing, found by a contributor to the TPM Café, has several interesting passages.
The transcript shows only three Committee members present for the confirmation hearing of the new FEMA Deputy Director, among these members is Kentucky’s junior Senator, 74 year-old former baseball player, Jim Bunning.
In the brief exchanges shown below, Brown, under oath, seems to have lied directly and indirectly to the Committee:

Chairman LIEBERMAN. Do you know of anything personal or otherwise…that would in any way prevent you from fully and honorably discharging your responsibilities as Deputy Director of FEMA?

Mr. BROWN. No, sir.


Senator BUNNING. You were in city government like I was...You were an Assistant City Manager in Edmond, Oklahoma, one of my old hangouts when I managed the Oklahoma City 89-ers, in the mid-1970s, actually. So was I, 1976. How has the responsibility and focus of local officials changed since September 11, the relationship to FEMA?

Mr. BROWN. First of all, I would say I probably went to some of those ballgames, but I am sure I never screamed at the manager.

Senator BUNNING. Yes. I can remember you specifically doing
that. [Laughter.]

Mr. BROWN. I never did that. [Laughter.]

Photo: AFP Getty
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