WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Staging a bogus news conference cost the Federal Emergency Management Agency's director of external communications a new job with national intelligence.
The office of Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said FEMA's director of external communications at the time of the incident, John Philbin, is no longer scheduled to serve as the DNI's director of public affairs, CNN reported Monday.
It was not immediately known whether Philbin offered to resign or was fired just as he was to begin his job with national intelligence.
FEMA Administrator David Paulison issued a statement Monday, apologizing "for the inexcusable actions and remarkably bad judgment exhibited at a FEMA press conference last week." He said individuals involved were reprimanded and "additional disciplinary actions are possible."
Paulison said reporters were given 15 minutes' notice for the news conference last Tuesday after the agency received media queries about its response to the California wildfires. When reporters did not show up on time, FEMA staffers asked questions. Reporters, who were given a phone number to call in to the conference, could only listen.
Because of the incident, Paulison said, FEMA's procedures for working with the media have changed.