"Brown is continuing to work at the Federal Emergency Management Agency at full pay, with his Sept. 12 resignation not taking effect for two more weeks, said Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke.
During that time, Brown will advise the department on 'some of his views on his experience with Katrina,' as he transitions out of his job, Knocke said."
"While FEMA was trying to respond to probably the largest natural disaster in the history of this country, a catastrophic disaster that the president has described covering an area the size of Great Britain — I have heard 90,000 square miles — unless you have been there and seen it, you don’t realize exactly how bad and how big it was — but in the middle of trying to respond to that, FEMA’s press office became bombarded with requests to respond immediately to false statements about my resume and my background.
Ironically, it started with an organization called horsesass.org, that on some blog published a false, and, frankly, in my opinion, defamatory statement that the media just continued to repeat over and over. Next, one national magazine not only defamed me, but my alma mater, the Oklahoma City University School of Law, in one sentence alone leveling six false charges....But I guess it’s the media’s job. But I don’t like it. I think it’s false. It came at the wrong time. And I think it led potentially to me being pulled out of Louisiana because it made me somewhat ineffective."
"'He took on a job in an industry he knew nothing about. To me, it made no sense to bring in someone who knew nothing,' said [Janice McCrea] Wight, [president of the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona]" [The Arizona Republic | September 27, 2005].
"Today I resigned as Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As I told the President, it is important that I leave now to avoid further distraction from the ongoing mission of FEMA."
"Former FEMA director Michael Brown was warned weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit that his agency's backlogged computer systems could delay supplies and put personnel at risk during an emergency, according to an audit released Wednesday.
An internal review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's information-sharing system shows it was overwhelmed during the 2004 hurricane season. The audit was released a day after Brown vehemently defended FEMA for the government's dismal response to Katrina, instead blaming state and local officials for poor planning and chaos during the Aug. 29 storm and subsequent flooding.
The review by Homeland Security Department acting Inspector General Richard L. Skinner examined FEMA's response to four major hurricanes and a tropical storm that hit Florida and the Gulf Coast in August and September 2004. It noted FEMA's mission during disasters as rapid response and coordinating efforts among federal, state and local authorities.
'However, FEMA's systems do not support effective or efficient coordination of deployment operations because there is no sharing of information,' the audit found. 'Consequently, this created operational inefficiencies and hindered the delivery of essential disaster response and recovery services,' it said.
...In an Aug. 3 response, Brown and one of his deputies rejected the audit, calling it unacceptable, erroneous and negative.
'The overall tone of the report is negative,' wrote FEMA chief information officer Barry C. West in an Aug. 3 letter that Brown initialed." [Associated Press | September 28, 2005]
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