Fake FEMA Briefing Costs Official New Job

Spy media post yanked after 'remarkably bad judgment'
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2007 3:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – The FEMA official whose department staged a fake news conference with workers from the federal agency posing as reporters has been axed from a new job before he even begins, Reuters reports. FEMA external affairs director John Philbin was to start this week as media chief of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, but that's off. Another executive has also temporarily taken over Philbin's role at FEMA.

"Individuals involved have been admonished and additional disciplinary actions are possible," said FEMA administrator David Paulison. He apologized for what he called "remarkably bad judgment." Philbin concurred. "It was absolutely a bad decision," he said. "I should have stopped it." The briefing on the California fires was staged because no reporters were available on short notice.