FEMA chief Brown resigns post


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: "Michael Brown, the embattled director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who was reassigned Friday from his post spearheading relief operations on the Gulf Coast, has resigned, according to people familiar with the matter.

"Mr. Brown had become a lightning rod for criticism over the government's slow and bungled response to the hurricane. On Friday, Mr. Brown's boss, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, said he was sending Mr. Brown back to Washington "to return to administering FEMA nationally" and to oversee the government's response to other disasters.

"That move was widely seen as a precursor to Mr. Brown's eventual departure especially given that some members of Congress said that a reassignment wasn't enough. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and three other senators said in a letter to Mr. Bush on Friday that Mr. Brown's "continued presence in this critical position endangers the success of the ongoing recovery efforts.""



WASHINGTON - Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown said Monday he has resigned "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president," three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

"The focus has got to be on FEMA, what the people are trying to do down there," Brown told The Associated Press.


Earlier this month, President Bush said that Mr. Brown had been doing "a heck of a job" handling the relief work. But the administration has since come under intense pressure to improve its response to Hurricane Katrina, which was heavily criticized for being slow and ineffective. Last Friday, Mr. Brown was replaced by Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard in overseeing the relief effort.

Asked about the report, Mr. Bush, in Gulfport, Miss., brushed aside questions by reporters about Mr. Brown's resignation.

A report on Time magazine's Web site that asserted that Mr. Brown had inflated his résumé set off a new round of questions about his qualifications. Newsday also reported inconsistencies in his résumé.

Originally published on Monday September 12, 2005.


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