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

Adjust Comment Print

The head of the government's disaster relief agency said Thursday he never intentionally misused federal vehicles, following a report he was under investigation by the Homeland Security Department's internal watchdog.

At the beginning of his tenure at FEMA a year ago, Long started using a staff driver to get him back home to Hickory, North Carolina, according to Politico.

During a Thursday briefing on Hurricane Florence, Long denied any wrongdoing to reporters and acknowledged an ongoing investigation from the DHS inspector general.

Long is the latest in a long line of Trump administration officials to come under fire for misusing government funds on travel. Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA and it's not a part of my track record in my whole entire career.

Citing a current official, Politico also reported that aides were put up in a hotel at taxpayer expense on the weekends Long was in North Carolina.

DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton said Nielsen has confidence in FEMA's leadership in a statement. An investigation by the inspector general was triggered after Long was reportedly in an accident with one of the vehicles, a black Chevy Suburban.

Politico said FEMA directed questions about the probe to the IG's office, which did not respond to the news organization's request for comment.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long speaks during a news conference at the National Hurricane Center as National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, right, looks on, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Miami.

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

In a statement, a spokeswoman referred questions to the inspector general's office and said that Long and the agency's workforce "are focused on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Florence and other active tropical systems".

The plan indicates that millions of dollars earmarked for the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard have also been redirected to ICE. 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.