FEMA administrator under investigation for travel, use of government cars

FEMA administrator under investigation for travel, use of government cars

The Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog office is investigating whether Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long used government resources for personal travel.

The DHS IG is examining whether Long misused government vehicles and personnel for his six-hour drives between his home in North Carolina and FEMA headquarters in Washington, DC, Politico reported. "If we made mistakes with the way a program was run, then we'll work with OIG to get this corrected".

He is now overseeing the preparations for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the Southeast hard. "Doing something unethical is not in my DNA, it is not part of my track record", Long told reporters at a briefing on the storm.

FEMA did not respond to a Fortune request for comment on the investigation.

FEMA's James Joseph said even with all of its assets, there are limits to what it can do.

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The storm is likely to bring significant rain to the Carolinas, where some places could see upwards of 20 inches, the update said. The storm, which made landfall Friday morning as a Category 1, is expected to continue to soak the area throughout the weekend.

FEMA director of external affairs Jessica Nalepa said any questions regarding an investigation should be directed to the DHS IG, adding FEMA "fully cooperates with all investigations conducted by the DHS OIG".

Long, who took over a year ago 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. She called Long "an experienced and respected emergency manager".

The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general's office is reportedly looking into whether he misused taxpayer dollars. "At this time, we are fully focused on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Florence and the storms in the Pacific", DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton told Politico in a statement.

The investigation was confirmed by the agency.

Chris Kleponis/SIPA/NewscomJust a day after it was reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) managed to misplace almost a million bottles of water that were supposed to be delivered to the Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria, the agency was thrown into another controversy based on Administrator Brock Long's travel habits. Former EPA head Scott Pruitt, for example, was forced to resign over his travel habits. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was sacked a year ago after it was disclosed he took costly charter flights instead of commercial planes. USA government watchdogs have also chastised Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over his spending.

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