Investigation into FEMA head referred to prosecutors: report

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The investigation into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long’s alleged misuse of government vehicles has been referred to federal prosecutors, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The news outlet reported that Long and two other federal employees may have broken multiple laws in their use of government resources. The incident was under review by the inspector general’s office, but has since been referred to the U.S. attorney’s office.

{mosads}Long is facing an investigation over his alleged use of government vehicles and staff to drive him from his office in Washington, D.C., to his home in North Carolina. Staffers were then allegedly put up in hotels at taxpayer expense. 

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

“I am looking forward to meeting with (North Carolina) Governor Cooper tomorrow and discussing with him how the federal government can best help him meet his response and recovery needs,” he added.

Long has denied intentionally violating the law, and has insisted he’s willing to cooperate with the investigation.

He appeared on a trio of talk shows on Sunday, where he suggested questions about his use of government vehicles was the result of a policy mix-up.

“The program was developed back in 2008. It ran for me the same way it’s run for anybody else,” Long said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“It’s my understanding that maybe some policies were not developed around these vehicles that we will get cleared up and push forward,” he added.

Long also disputed reports that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen asked him to consider resigning over the scandal.

“Let me go ahead and clear up the facts. Secretary Nielsen has never asked me to resign. We have a very functional and professional relationship,” he said.

Long added that he is not thinking about resigning.

The FEMA administrator on Sunday also discussed the response to Hurricane Florence and addressed President Trump’s unfounded claims that the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was inflated to make him look bad.

Long didn’t refute the president, instead calling into question the validity and methodology of the studies looking at the aftermath of Maria, and praising Trump for his support of the agency.

—Updated at 6:20 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Kirstjen Nielsen
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