Naughty, naughty!

Padding your resume to get a federal job is a felony. Michael Brown seems to have padded his resume to get his job at FEMA.

An appointment to a senior job is clearly a “matter within the jurisdiction of the executive … branch of the Government of the United States.”

Whoever, with respect to such a matter, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

has violated 18 U.S.C. 1001 and is eligible for up to five years of free room and board at the taxpayers’ expense.

So if in fact Michael Brown padded his resume to get his job at FEMA, he committed a felony.

Since his incompetence at that position obviously cost many lives, perhaps the ordinary prosecutorial reluctance to criminalize resume-padding ought to be overcome in this case. At least, someone in Congress should ask the Attorney General to have the matter looked into.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: