FEMA Chief Faces Mounting Pressure Over Use of Agency Cars
(Bloomberg) -- A demand for documents by a key House Republican adds to the growing pressure on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s chief as he coordinates the government response to Hurricane Florence.
On Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy sent Brock Long a letter demanding documents related to his use of government vehicles to commute to his North Carolina home.
Gowdy asked for documents showing each time Brock used a government car and which staff joined him. The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General has been investigating Long’s use of those vehicles.
“I am not focused on this investigation,” Long said in a statement released by his office on Monday evening. “I am fully focused on those impacted by Hurricane Florence.”
The investigation into Long has been referred to federal prosecutors for possible criminal charges, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Department of Homeland Security referred questions on the inquiry to the Inspector General’s office, which didn’t return phone calls. The Department of Justice didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Brock Long was confirmed in June 2017 to head FEMA, the nation’s chief agency for disaster response. The agency was criticized for its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, which led to an estimated 3,000 deaths.
On Sunday, Long defended himself against the latest travel allegations, saying that “maybe some policies were not developed around these vehicles.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversees FEMA, has not asked him to resign, Long said during an interview on Meet the Press.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.