Discrepancies found on FEMA head's history

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The official biography for Michael Brown, the beleaguered head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, contains a discrepancy about his background in emergency management, it was reported.

A 2001 press release on the White House Web site says that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 "overseeing emergency services divisions. "But a former mayor of Edmond, Randel Shadid, told The Associated Press on Friday that Brown had been an assistant to the city manager. Shadid said Brown was never assistant city manager.

"I think there's a difference between the two positions," said Shadid. "I would think that is a discrepancy."

Claudia Deakins, head of public relations for the city of Edmond, also said that Brown was "an assistant to the city manager" from 1977 to 1980, not a manager himself, and had no authority over other employees.

Time magazine first reported the discrepancy.

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."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan referred all questions about Brown's resume to FEMA.

McClellan said the White House's earlier statements that Brown retained the president's confidence remain true — but he declined to state that confidence outright.

"I'd leave it where I left it," McClellan said. "We appreciate the work of all those who have been working around the clock to respond to what has been on the worst natural disasters in our nation's history."

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