WASHINGTON – A fake news conference at FEMA headquarters in Washington last week has cost its organizer a new job at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and he won't be returning to his previous post either.
FOX News learned Monday that John P. "Pat" Philbin, who was supposed to be joining the ODNI's public affairs division on Monday as its chief, is no longer being considered for the job.
"We do not normally comment on personnel matters. However, we can confirm that Mr. Philbin is not, nor is he scheduled to be, the Director of Public Affairs for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence," a spokesman for the ODNI's office said in a prepared statement.
Philbin's employment at FEMA officially ended Friday, DHS officials said, because he had already submitted his resignation to take the DNI job. He will not be returning, and a page linking to his biography on the FEMA Web site has been taken down.
The Associated Press reported earlier that Philbin's hire was being put on hold so Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell could review Philbin's record.
Philbin came under fire last week after he put together a short-notice, televised news conference at FEMA headquarters regarding the southern California wildfires. Members of the press couldn't participate in the event, but could listen through a call-in number. No journalists were physically present at the event featuring FEMA deputy administrator Vice Adm. Harvey Johnson.
Questions ended up being asked by FEMA employees — including Philbin — who posed as reporters.
Working press panned the news conference for its soft-ball questions, which included: "Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?"
FEMA later apologized for the phony news briefing and said it was reviewing its procedures for dealing with news organizations.
The Bush administration has had a strong response as a result, drawing a clear line that the news conference method is unacceptable.
Michael Chertoff, chief of the Department of Homeland Security — which oversees FEMA — knocked the conference as bone-headed on Saturday.
"I have made unambiguously clear, in Anglo-Saxon prose, that it is not to ever happen again and there will be appropriate disciplinary action taken against those people who exhibited what I regard as extraordinarily poor judgment," he added.
Asked Friday by reporters if she thought the conference style was appropriate, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, "It is not. It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we — we certainly don't condone it. We didn't know about it beforehand."
And lawmakers, including Republican presidential candidate John McCain, also criticized the FEMA employees.
"At no time, under no circumstances should there be a phony press conference," McCain said Sunday, adding that it was obviously a fake press conference because none of the FEMA staff showed "the chutzpah of the real working press. We could never find anybody who could be that aggressive."
FOX News' Ian McCaleb and The Associated Press contributed to this report.