Liar, Liar, Resume on Fire!

09/12/05 – UPDATE: Michael Brown Resigns

FEMA head Michael Brown has had a tough couple of weeks. Politicians are in front of cameras calling for his resignation, petitions are being signed for his removal, bloggers want him to assume room temperature, and the talking heads on cable repeat his name no less than 30 times in an hour.

And if you think things can’t simply get any worse for this man, think again.

A TIME investigation reveals discrepancies in the FEMA chief’s official biographies

TIME has found discrepancies in his online legal profile and official bio, including a description of Brown released by the White House at the time of his nomination in 2001 to the job as deputy chief of FEMA.

And just what are those discrepancies?

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.” 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.”

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.”

Under the heading of “Professional Associations and Memberships” on FindLaw, Brown states that from 1983 to the present he has been director of the Oklahoma Christian Home, a nursing home in Edmond. But an administrator with the Home, told TIME that Brown is “not a person that anyone here is familiar with.” (Brown said “he’s never claimed to be the director of the home. He was on the board of directors, or governors of the nursing home.” However, a veteran employee at the center since 1981 says Brown “was never director here, was never on the board of directors, was never executive director. He was never here in any capacity. I never heard his name mentioned here.”)

Brown’s FindLaw profile lists a wide range of areas of legal practice, from estate planning to family law to sports. However, one former colleague does not remember Brown’s work as sterling. Stephen Jones, a prominent Oklahoma lawyer who was lead defense attorney on the Timothy McVeigh case, was Brown’s boss for two-and-a-half years in the early ’80s. “He did mainly transactional work, not litigation,” says Jones. “There was a feeling that he was not serious and somewhat shallow.” Jones says when his law firm split, Brown was one of two staffers who was let go.

Michael Brown has been officially ‘thrown under the bus’.

But even if he did ‘fudge’ a little on his credentials, he’s not the only one who has made themselves out to be something they’re not. (And no, that doesn’t make what Brown did right.)

Lying about military records have been a favorite among cheaters, particularly because no one wants to challenge the honor of someone who fought to defend our country.

At Fox News, the colonel who wasn’t

L.A. judge charged with lying about his past

Executives at major corporations have been embroiled in scandals by misstating earnings, taking kickbacks, and…lying on their resumes.

Why do so many executives lie about their educations?

The costs of resume falsification

False credentials, real problems

Know someone with a degree from Columbia State University? It’s probably a fake, federal authorities say.

Falsifying Degrees Is Becoming a Rampant Problem

An advertisement for fake college diplomas

And it doesn’t end there. A review of 2.6 million job applications in 2002 revealed that 44% contained a lie or two.

Wondering what the most common resume lie is? Compensation, job tenure, and reasons for leaving your last job.

What does your resume look like?

UPDATE: Recalled

MORE: Brown doesn’t know why he was pulled. ABCNews says he’ll be out as FEMA head, very soon

STILL MORE: Reader ‘Biker Dan’, who believes the TIME magazine story contains inaccuracies (and kindly tells me that I’ve jumped on the MSM bandwagon too soon), emails to say that an Associated Press version of the Brown story has suddenly changed throughout the day. Dan thinks there’s a little after-the-fact clean up going on at the AP:

My wife and I left the house for a time, and when I returned a few minutes ago I noticed several lines were missing from the AP article.  The AP Article now reads:

A longtime acquaintance, Carl Reherman, said Brown was very involved in helping set up Edmond’s emergency operations center and assisting in the creation of an emergency contingency plan in the 1970s. At the time, Reherman was a city councilman, and he later became mayor.

FEMA deputy strategic director Nicol Andrews said a report in Time magazine, which first detailed the discrepancies, was “very inaccurate.

Earlier it read:

A longtime acquaintance, Carl Reherman, said Brown was very involved in helping set up an emergency operations center in Edmond.

“From my experience with Mike, he not only worked very hard on everything he did, he had very high standards,” said Reherman, who was a city councilman and also knew Brown when he was a student taking classes from Reherman, a professor of political science at Central State University.

Nicol Andrews, deputy strategic director in FEMA’s office of public affairs, told Time that while Brown began as an intern, he became an “assistant city manager” with a distinguished record of service.

“According to Mike Brown,” Andrews told Time, a large portion of points raised by the magazine are “very inaccurate.”

Strange, huh?  Well, I checked the AP head line list at the bottom of the link I provided earlier, and there are two entries for the headline, “Embattled Brown Taken Off Katrina Duty”, one for Sep 09 3:39 PM, and another for Sep 09 5:19 PM.  However, both read exactly the same, now.  I sense a little “tydying up” by the AP.
LOL.  Now the 3:39 PM entry is gone.  Wow, they do get rid of the evidence fast!

Related: Delusional, Dysfunctional, Divisive, and Defiant

Others: Brown Promoted to ‘Assistant President’ |


  1. This is even sillier than Condi’s new shoes.

  2. TrueLiberal says:

    Gee, says a lot about Senate oversight and vetting of his hire to FEMA in the first place!

    Maybe the Senate should start up one of those “Blue Ribbon Commissions” to find out why the Democrat controlled Senate failed on this one, too.

    I mean really, when Dem’s are the majority they are as big a failure as in the minority. Is there a competent Democrat in Congress?

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