Friday, September 09, 2005

Cronyism Kills

Steve Gilliard has picked up Paul Campos' blistering deconstruction of Michael Brown's CV. Some money quotes for you below.

Brown's biography on FEMA's website reports that he's a graduate of the Oklahoma City University School of Law. This is not, to put it charitably, a well-known institution. For example, I've been a law professor for the past 15 years and have never heard of it. Of more relevance is the fact that, until 2003, the school was not even a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS)--the organization that, along with the American Bar Association, accredits the nation's law schools. Most prospective law students won't even consider applying to a non-AALS law school unless they have no other option, because many employers have a policy of not considering graduates of non-AALS institutions. So it's fair to say that Brown embarked on his prospective legal career from the bottom of the profession's hierarchy.

But just about the only evidence of Brown's Colorado legal career is the Web page he submitted to Findlaw.com, an Internet site for people seeking legal representation. There, he lists himself as a member of the "International Arabian Horse Association Legal Dept." and claims to be competent to practice law across a dizzying spectrum of specialties--estate planning, family law, employment law for both plaintiffs and defendants, real-estate law, sports law, labor law, and legislative practice. With all this expertise, it's all the more striking that one can't find any other evidence of Brown's legal career in Colorado.

When Brown left the IAHA four years ago, he was, among other things, a failed former lawyer--a man with a 20-year-old degree from a semi-accredited law school who hadn't attempted to practice law in a serious way in nearly 15 years and who had just been forced out of his job in the wake of charges of impropriety. At this point in his life, returning to his long-abandoned legal career would have been very difficult in the competitive Colorado legal market. Yet, within months of leaving the IAHA , he was handed one of the top legal positions in the entire federal government: general counsel for a major federal agency. A year later, he was made its number-two official, and, a year after that, Bush appointed him director of FEMA.


Catch the whole enchilada.

2 comments:

Bill Ziemer said...

I can not believe it! ABC news has found their balls! Tonight's (Friday) news was all about how lame the admin was and is. Restores my faith, very cool.

Cantankerous Bitch said...

ABC's The Note has been a good source for info and, in some cases, the right amount of snark.