Friday, September 09, 2005

Who was too lazy to run this guy's background check?

Why do you submit a resume? It's so your potential employer knows if you are qualified for the job.

As it is, FEMA head Michael Brown never claimed to have experience with disaster relief beyond a brief stint in the 1970's as an assistant city manager in Edmond, Oklahoma.

But now, it turns out that he apparently didn't even have the limited experience with disaster relief and leadership that he claimed he had.

In a story first reported by the Daily Kos and now being reported by Time Magazine, it turns out that Brown lied about his past experiences.

For example,

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."

An assistant to FEMA defended Brown and claimed that he was in fact an assistant city manager. That would mean that his former employers, all of whom claimed he was a good employee, had lied about him. And, he didn't even graduate until 1978, the last year he claims to have been running the emergency services division. Even if one believes his supervisors are lying about him, it seems odd that they would hire an undergraduate college student to direct their own emergency management response.

But that isn't the only problem with his resume.

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.

Of course, in the wake of 9/11, it shows even more of the incompetence of this administration that they would let a man serve as head of FEMA, an agency on which literally many people's lives depend, and which could very well be on the front lines of any future terror attack, manage to get hired with lies on his resume.

So what did qualify him to serve in a position where the lives of tens of thousands of people depended on his knowing what to do?

Well, he WAS the rules chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. At least that resume item, I find believable.

1 comment:

Eli Blake said...

He was indeed. He was friends of Joe Allbaugh, a friend of Bush and the first head of FEMA.

Proving once again, that with Bush, it's not what you know, it's who you know.