In 2003, virtually no one noticed when a relatively unknown bureaucrat named Michael Brown was appointed by President Bush to the head of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency). This seemed like a pretty significant promotion, given that Brown had, until then, only been Assistant City Manager of Emergency Services in Edmond, Oklahoma. Going straight from coordinating fire engines in a city of 80,000 to managing the emergency services in all of America is a big jump, but hell, his record seemed pretty solid, and given that FEMA isn’t that important an agency anyway, he was as good a pick as anyone. Right?

Unfortunately for Brown (and, you know, everyone else), he was still the head of FEMA when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. You might recall that the emergency response to Katrina didn’t go very well. Almost as if, say, the person organizing the response had no goddamned idea what he was doing.

Brown resigned after the Katrina disaster, but after a little journalistic investigation, it turned out that he was even less qualified than anyone had suspected. It turned out Brown wasn’t actually Assistant City Manager of Emergency Services in Edmond at all, as his resume said. He was Assistant to the City Manager. Those extra words matter, because they’re the difference between being second-in-charge and being the guy who buys the Starbucks.

He was just a step above “intern.” Though, according to his boss (the actual City Manager) he was pretty good at his job – he always turned up to work on time, and wore a suit every day (that’s actually his defense).

5 Famous People Who Blatantly Lied (And Barely Paid For It)

FN Nicknames

Geoffrey Zakarian 

  • Hipster Grandpa
  • grouchy zakarian

Bobby Flay

  • the ginger demon 
  • Bobert Flavorless 
  • Floppy Bay
  • Robert Flavor
  • Booby Flay

Alex Guarnaschelli

  • Alex Tortellini 
  • alex ghiradelli 
  • Alex guara-slayi

Aaron Sanchez 

  • Spicy boi
  • too hot for you

Ted Allen 

  • Lil baby teddy bear
  • rainbow child

Amanda Freitag

  • Amanda “be my girl” friendtag 
  • the light of my life

Guy Fieri

  • fire chia 
  • the girl on fire

Scott Conant

  • onion boy
  • Scoff Conant

Robert Irvine

  • leg day

Robert Irvine visited my old elementary school, built a restaurant inside of it (it was still a functioning school) and hired me as a waitress, after which I proceeded to make friends with Megan Fox, and I abandoned my job to sit at her table.