[Hpn] FEMA DIRECTOR BROWN RELIEVED OF HIS RESPONSIBILITIES
William Charles Tinker
Fri, 9 Sep 2005 14:40:01 -0400
FEMA Director Brown relieved of hurricane responsibilities
By Lara Jakes Jordan
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown is
being relieved of his command of the Bush administration's Hurricane Katrina
onsite relief efforts, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff
He will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen, who was
overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts, Chertoff said.
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.
Brown has been under fire because of the administration's slow response to
the magnitude of the hurricane. On Thursday, questions were raised about
whether he padded his resume to exaggerate his previous emergency management
Less than an hour before Brown's removal came to light, White House press
secretary Scott McClellan said Brown had not resigned and the president had
not asked for his resignation.
Chertoff suggested the shift came as the Gulf Coast efforts were entering
"a new phase of the recovery operation." He said Brown would return to
Washington to oversee the government's response to other potential
"I appreciate his work, as does everybody here," Chertoff said.
"I'm anxious to get back to D.C. to correct all the inaccuracies and lies
that are being said," Brown said in a telephone interview with The
Asked if the move was a demotion, Brown said: "No. No. I'm still the
director of FEMA."
He said Chertoff made the decision to move him out of Louisiana. It was not
his own decision, Brown said.
"I'm going to go home and walk my dog and hug my wife and, maybe get a good
Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night's sleep. And then I'm
going to go right back to FEMA and continue to do all I can to help these
victims," Brown said. "This story's not about me. This story's about the
worst disaster of the history of our country that stretched every government
to its limit and now we have to help these victims."
William Charles Tinker
New Hampshire Homeless / Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.