03/28/2008 02:43 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Knight Ridder: Homeland Security Chief Chertoff Had Authority To Act And Didn't...

The federal official with the power to mobilize a massive federal response to Hurricane Katrina was Homeland Security Secretary
Michael Chertoff, not the former FEMA chief who was relieved of his duties and resigned earlier this week, federal documents reviewed by Knight Ridder show.

Even before the storm struck the Gulf Coast, Chertoff could have ordered federal agencies into action without any request from state or local officials.

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