Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How Now, Brown Bureaucrat

Someone is going to have to clue me in on the whole world of Arabian Horse shows, because I don't get it. I know the general idea is to have a pretty horse that behaves itself, but really, that's about as far as I can explain it.

So anyway, it's pretty clear that the guy who is now the director of FEMA, Michael Brown, is going to be the fall guy for all this Katrina stuff in a major way. It seems to me that every other local, state, federal, civilian, law enforcement, Federation of Planets, or whatever official is in his debt, because for any screw-ups they are percieved as having made, they can point to Brown and suddenly won't seem incompetent at all.

Mr. Brown's job before getting hired as the assistant director of FEMA by his old college buddy Joe Allbaugh (G.W.'s campaign manager) was with the International Arabian Horse Association (IAHA).

The following are what historians call "primary sources" -- That is, no journalists or pundits or whatever have told us what to think about these documents.

Here is Mr. Brown's separation agreement from when he left the IAHA. Excerpt:

The parties recognize that, due to the nature of Mr. Brown's duties as Judges and Stewards Commissioner, he has been the subject of numerous personal attacks, and that there have been numerous allegations made during the course of his employment that Mr. Brown engaged in conduct that would constitute cause for the termination of Brown's contract with IAHA. IAHA specifically acknowledges, however, that no cause exists to terminate Brown's contract with IAHA.

Here is some sort of lawyer directory with Mr. Brown's profile from his time at IAHA.

Update, 9/10/05 9:06 AM: Time Magazine has looked at this FindLaw directory page as well, and they feature it prominently this week in an article on Brown's resume. (This article also points out that Brown used to work for the guy who became Tim McVeigh's defense attorney.) And check this out:

The FindLaw profile for Brown was amended on Thursday to remove a reference to his tenure at the International Arabian Horse Association, which has become a contested point.

When I looked at the FindLaw page on Wednesday, Sept. 7, it looked like the last time the info had been updated was years ago, because it still listed his primary job as being with the IAHA. But all of a sudden on Sept. 8, someone finds the time to update it, IAHA disappears, and FEMA shows in its place. How interesting. (End of update.)

What caused the hoopla at the IAHA that precipitated Mr. Brown's departure? I still don't quite get it, but it all has to do with some horses getting cosmetic surgery when they weren't supposed to. This article from Arabian Horse World Online lends some insight.

"It's not just cosmetic. I've always felt... different from the other horses... trapped. Now, for the first time in my life, I really feel like I'm taking care of me."

These excerpts from Arabian Horse World Online (linked above) might lend credence to the notion of history repeating itself:

However, information that came to light at the August Board meeting — the revelation that Brown had set up his own legal defense fund — severely eroded that support. This revelation created the appearance of impropriety, especially when he’d been saying that he had commitments of a great deal of money for IAHA’s Legal Defense Fund which never materialized, and then it turned out he’d been out soliciting funds for his own, personal, legal defense fund.

Mr. Brown has been defended by IAHA to the fullest degree all the way along. At the August Board Meeting when this all came to light, he said that he felt the need to set up his own legal defense fund to protect the assets of his family. Yet IAHA has been paying all of his legal bills. We have paid for the attorney he chose to use, and he’s never been refused coverage, so we don’t know why he felt he needed further protection. Furthermore, IAHA indemnified him, meaning that we hold him harmless for whatever he does as he functions in his job.

Mike Brown experienced a huge, rapid erosion of support that day. When this came to light at the Board Meeting, he strongly, clearly, and repeatedly stated that he wished to resign and this statement was addressed to the full Board, not to the Executive Committee. Therefore, I resent the characterization that the Executive Committee forced Mike Brown out, when in fact, the catalyst that led to his resignation was a very embarrassing situation caused by Mike Brown himself that came to light at the Board Meeting. He then stated to everyone in attendance, which was the full Board, that he wanted to resign, that he was tired, that he didn’t like the effect on his family that this was having, and he felt that it was time to go. He repeated those statements to the Executive Committee on two other days. A week later he repeated it to me, and at that time said that his attorney was contacting the IAHA attorney to work out the terms. The fact that he brought in his attorney at that early stage surprised us.


Blogger Baraka said...

Love the caption!

2:03 PM  
Blogger getalife said...

Ever wake up some days and feel you're the wrong species?

7:22 PM  

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