Prof. Brownie: Disgraced Bush official to teach Patriot Act class at DU

Michael Brown, the disgraced head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during Hurricane Katrina, lives in Boulder now and, four years after the epic disaster, is apparently ready to dip back into the world of law and government. Brown pitched a class on the Patriot Act to the University of Denver law school that he said would survey the controversial Act just as it comes up for reauthorization. Although his name has come to stand for deadly incompetence and cronyism, “Brownie,” as Bush referred to him, has at least actually practiced the law and taught adjunct law school classes. How bad can it be? Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Fred Cheever says DU is ready to take the plunge.

Michael Brown
Michael Brown

Cheever told TPM Muckraker that Brown’s “extensive experience in government and willingness to teach” qualified him for the job.

In the 1980s Brown was an adjunct instructor at Oklahoma City University law school, where he also received his law degree.

As to the “extensiveness” of Brown’s experience in government, that has been a subject of debate ever since Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Was he an “assistant” to the city manager of Edmond Oklahoma or was he an “more like an intern“? He was Finance Committee Staff Director at the Oklahoma state legislator and he was elected to the Edmond city council, from which he resigned, however, to work in private practice.

It’s uncertain how to characterize Brown’s decade-plus stint as Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association. In the end, he resigned that position as well, just as he resigned from the city council and just as he resigned from FEMA. If nothing else, Brown is a serial resigner.

Brown has been slowly rebuilding his employment portfolio in Colorado. In August he was hired by Centennial-based Cold Creek Solutions, which advises business clients on information management.

“With Michael’s unique view into what possibly could go wrong when looking at a plan, we can truly help clients be prepared for the unexpected,” said Cold Creek exec Paul Schwappach.

“I’ve seen thousands of disasters, some where things work according to plan, and some where absolutely nothing works,” Brown said in a statement at the time. “What better person can a company talk to about those two extremes?”

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