Trump's FEMA Chief Faces Investigation For Personal Use Of Government Vehicles

Pat Wise
September 16, 2018

The investigation is reportedly into whether Long used government vehicles and personnel to frequently make the six-hour drive from Washington, D.C., to his home in Hickory, North Carolina, on the weekends.

"Any questions regarding a particular investigation should be directed to the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General (DHS OIG)".

Long has been using a staff driver from his department to drive him to and from North Carolina in an official vehicle since he first took over as head of FEMA previous year.

Long seemed to have confirmed the investigation during a briefing on Thursday, saying that his office will "continue to fully cooperate with any investigation".

"I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly", Long said at a FEMA meeting Thursday regarding the probe, per Politico. "Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA and it's not part of my track record my whole entire career so we'll work with the OIG", he continued.

Also at issue is Long's use of staff drivers for some of those trips back and forth, and travel expenses those aides incurred.

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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.

Nalepa added that Long was now focused on FEMA's work "preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Florence and other active tropical systems".

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. 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.

FEMA, the agency in charge of coordinating the federal response to Florence, was criticized a year ago for its handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

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

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