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Ex-FEMA Chief Fesses Up to Katrina Mistakes

Former FEMA director Michael Brown (search) said Monday he should have sought faster help from the Pentagon after Hurricane Katrina (search) hit, and blamed state and local officials for failing to order an immediate evacuation of New Orleans (search), congressional aides of both parties said.

Brown is continuing to work at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (search) at full pay, with his Sept. 12 resignation not taking effect for two more weeks, said Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke.

During that time, Brown will advise the department on "some of his views on his experience with Katrina," as he transitions out of his job, Knocke said.

Brown spoke to congressional aides from both parties a day before he is expected to testify in front of a special House committee investigating the government's response to the Aug. 29 disaster.

Brown came to symbolize the halting federal efforts to rescue victims of the storm and flooding that followed in which more than 1,000 people died in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff removed Brown from his on-site role overseeing the disaster response on Sept. 9. Brown announced his resignation from FEMA three days later.