9/30/2005

FEMA head's equine past contentious

FEMA head's equine past contentious
Suits filled time in Arabian group

Kate Nolan
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 27, 2005 12:00 AM

Former Director Michael Brown faces a House committee hearing today, the first since his resignation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

But the Gulf Coast tempest has already blown his past wide open, particularly a controversy that still resonates in Arizona horse country.

As the ethics commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association in the 1990s, Brown launched a contentious investigation into Scottsdale horseman David Boggs, one of the brightest stars in the Arabian world. Brown accused Boggs of ordering plastic surgery on horses in his care.

Brown's actions led to a flurry of lawsuits, a five-year suspension from the group for Boggs and Brown's resignation in 2000 from the Colorado-based association.

In a four-year span, Brown, a lawyer, amassed association legal fees exceeding $1.5 million and initiated a controversial legal defense fund for himself, which ultimately led to his resignation. The 45,000-member horse group, now called the Arabian Horse Association, was involved in at least seven lawsuits during Brown's tenure.


FEMA head's equine past contentious

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