FEMA Chief Nearly Got Fired as Hurricane Brewed

16 September, 2018, 03:41 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Stacks upon stacks of bottled water sit near a runway in Ceiba Puerto Rico

On Thursday, Politico reported that Brock Long, President Donald Trump's administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General for potential improper use of government property.

At the beginning of his tenure at FEMA previous year, Long started using a staff driver to get him back home to Hickory, North Carolina, according to Politico.

The inspector general is looking into whether taxpayers inappropriately footed the bill for Long's trips, according to the report, citing three unnamed sources.

"I'm very aware of a recent article in regards to an ongoing investigation by the OIG in regards to FEMA vehicle usage", Long said.

"If I remember, high tide is going to occur between 11 and 12 p.m. today, so it's only going to get worse as the system continues to file back", said Long. "You know doing something unethical is not part of my DNA, and it's not part of my track record and my whole entire career, so, we'll work with the OIG to get anything corrected", Long said.


Politico said FEMA directed questions about the probe to the IG's office, which did not respond to the news organization's request for comment. "The Secretary is confident in the leadership at FEMA and their proven disaster management ability", DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a statement to The Hill on Friday.

Long is now one of several top Trump administration officials who have faced intense scrutiny of their travel habits.

Long, who took over past year shortly before Hurricane Harvey struck, said he didn't want the investigation to detract from preparations for a major storm was heading for the U.S.

At the same briefing, he also referred to Florence multiple times as "Hurricane Floyd" - a storm that devastated parts of the East Coast in 1999, causing 87 deaths. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt were all felled in part due to their own lavish travel scandals.

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