FEMA's Administrator Is Under Investigation for His Travel Habits

16 September, 2018, 13:40 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Stacks upon stacks of bottled water sit near a runway in Ceiba Puerto Rico

Brock Long, who directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said he was "very aware" of a media report published earlier on Thursday regarding his travel habits, and that the agency would cooperate with any investigations. Long also said in a Thursday press briefing that he "would never intentionally run a program incorrectly" and meant to cooperate with the investigation.

"I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly".

Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for Homeland Security, FEMA's parent agency, referred questions to the inspector general's office, which didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Bottom line is, if we made mistakes in the way a program is run, we'll work with the OIG to get those corrected.

Specifically, Long is accused of using government cars for personal weekend travel to his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina - which has drawn scrutiny from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as well as the inspector general. "Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA and it's not part of my track record in my whole entire career". FEMA fully cooperates with all investigations conducted by the DHS OIG.

"Having worked directly with him for over a year, I know Administrator Long to be an experienced and respected emergency manager".

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FEMA, which coordinates the government's response to disasters, was bracing for Hurricane Florence to make landfall on Friday as the storm approached the Carolinas, threatening to bring days of pounding surf, torrential rain and severe flooding.

The investigation was confirmed by the agency. "He is known for his passion to help disaster survivors in their time of greatest need".

According to unnamed current and former Trump administration officials, Nielsen has confronted Long about his schedule in the past few months, but sources conflict over whether the secretary asked the administrator to resign.

The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigned in July after allegations of outsized security spending, first-class flights and a sweetheart condo lease. 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.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is now under investigation for his role in a real estate deal in his hometown.

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