Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

FEMA's Brock Long mistakes Hurricane Florence for Hurricane Floyd in briefing

FEMA's Brock Long mistakes Hurricane Florence for Hurricane Floyd in briefing

"Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA and it's not part of my track record in my whole entire career".

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.

The news of the investigation comes as the east coast of the United States braces for Hurricane Florence.

Long lives in Hickory, North Carolina, and has reportedly been using government vehicles to commute from his home to Washington, D.C. His use of the cars for that commute is being investigated for misuse of government funds.

Since his first days in the job, Long has used a staff driver to take him back to North Carolina on weekends.

Long briefly addressed the investigation during a Thursday FEMA briefing. But using those vehicles for personal trips or other activities runs afoul of government misuse regulations.

Citing a source familiar with the matter, the newspaper reported that senior White House officials discussed replacing Long in the past several days, but chief of staff John Kelly ultimately made a decision to leave Long in his role until the internal watchdog's final report was completed. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on Friday.

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Both FEMA and ICE are agencies managed by DHS.

Houlton said in a statement that Homeland Security is "fully focused on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Florence and the storms in the Pacific".

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".

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

Long and his agency have been widely criticized for the Trump administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago, where, studies show, at least 3,000 people died as a result of the storm.

The inspector general is looking into whether taxpayers inappropriately footed the bill for Long's trips, according to the report, citing three unnamed sources.

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