Top FEMA official suspended as part of investigation into agency head: report
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A senior Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) official has reportedly been suspended without pay as result of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general’s investigation into the agency’s administrator, Brock Long.

Politico, citing two government officials, reported on Tuesday that the official, John Veatch, was informed of his suspension last Friday.


The news outlet reported that Veatch did not immediately return a request for comment. FEMA referred Politico to DHS for comment, but DHS declined to give a statement because the inspector general (IG) investigation is ongoing.

The IG’s office also declined to comment to The Hill.

The news regarding a senior FEMA official’s suspension comes as Long faces increased scrutiny over his use of government vehicles for personal purposes.

The ongoing investigation is looking into allegations that Long used government vehicles for trips from his office in Washington, D.C., to his home in North Carolina. Staffers who drove him were reportedly placed in hotels at taxpayer expense upon arriving.

Politico has noted that Long's travel to North Carolina occurred under a continuity program ran by Veatch.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the inspector general probe has been referred to federal prosecutors. Long and two other federal employees may have broken multiple laws, according to the newspaper.

“I am not focused on this investigation. I am fully focused on those impacted by Hurricane Florence," Long said in a statement issued through a FEMA spokesperson on Monday.

"I am looking forward to meeting with [North Carolina] Governor [Roy] Cooper tomorrow and discussing with him how the federal government can best help him meet his response and recovery needs.”

Long has previously said that he is not thinking about stepping down over the investigation, and that his potential misuse of government vehicles resulted from a policy mix-up. 

"It’s my understanding that maybe some policies were not developed around these vehicles that we will get cleared up and push forward," he said NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.