Huckabee Names New Director for State's Top Emergency Management Agency

JUNE 30, 2006 - Posted at 3:00 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Today Governor Huckabee named David Maxwell the new director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, promoting him from his position as deputy director.

Maxwell replaces John Brackin, who unexpectedly resigned from the agency last week after the department gave itself failing grades for preparedness in an assessment submitted to the federal government.

The 51-year-old Maxwell has served as the department's deputy director since March 2002.

Huckabee said Brackin's abrupt departure means the state needs an experienced person in the role.

Brackin's resignation came as a surprise to local emergency officials and lawmakers.

Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart said Brackin left on his own, but Burns and other emergency officials said the timing of his resignation raised some questions.

State Senator Shane Broadway said he was not surprised by the agency's self-assessment because it echoed comments Brackin made to lawmakers in April.

(Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)