FEMA chief's dual challenge: huge hurricane and inspector general inquiry


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 chose to leave Long in his role until the internal watchdog's final report was completed. "We will work with the OIG".

Neither FEMA nor the inspector general's office of DHS immediately responded to Newsweek's inquiry about the possible misuse of government vehicles and taxpayer money.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general is also probing communications between Long and a FEMA contractor that may include discussions about future employment, a source told the Journal.

"Bottom line is, we'll continue to fully cooperate with any investigation that goes on and own up to any mistakes and push forward and keep going", he said.

The news of an DHS IG investigation into Long comes as the country prepares for Hurricane Florence, a Category 2 hurricane that's expected to hit the Carolina coasts hard.

The Department of Homeland Security inspector general has begun a probe into Long's use of government cars in his frequent six-hour drives between Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.

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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.

"I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly", he 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".

If their homes are damaged, FEMA has options beyond standard temporary trailers for housing, agency officials said. "The Secretary is confident in the leadership at FEMA and their proven disaster management ability", DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a statement to The Hill on Friday.

Long reportedly began having a government driver take him home since he took control of FEMA a year ago.

As the FEMA administrator, Long serves as the head of the USA disaster response.

"Having worked directly with him for over a year, I know Administrator Long to be an experienced and respected emergency manager". Former EPA head Scott Pruitt, for example, was forced to resign over his travel habits.