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FEMA chief says he would 'never intentionally run a program incorrectly'

16 September 2018, 04:48 | Dale Webster

Politico: FEMA administrator probed over travel, car use

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro North Carolina

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 Department of Homeland Security's inspector general's office is reportedly looking into whether he misused taxpayer dollars. But using those vehicles for personal trips or other activities runs afoul of government misuse regulations.

Long addressed the investigation Thursday, telling reporters, "Every day we work closely with the OIG and the (Government Accountability Office)" and "we'll continue to fully cooperate with any investigation that moves forward".

"I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly", Long continued. "On the weekends Long spent in North Carolina, aides were put up in a hotel at taxpayer expense, according to one of the current officials". "We will work with the OIG".

Over 1 million residents of coastal states including North Carolina and SC were ordered to evacuate as of Thursday afternoon, ahead of the expected landfall of Hurricane Florence on Friday.




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

"This is a sorry attempt to push a false agenda at a time when the administration is focused on assisting millions on the East Coast facing a catastrophic disaster", Houston said.

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

Representatives for the inspector general and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

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. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was sacked in March amid questionable travel charges and a growing rebellion in his agency about the privatization of medical care.



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