FEMA chief improperly used government vehicles, staff on 40 trips despite warnings: report

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Brock Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), used government vehicles and staff on 40 trips he took for personal reasons despite warnings that those uses weren’t authorized, according to The Washington Post.

The Post reported Wednesday that federal investigators surveilled Long from December through April, citing a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general that the Post obtained.

According to the Post, investigators watched staff drive Long multiple times from his apartment in Washington, D.C., to FEMA headquarters and from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to his home in North Carolina for weekend visits with family.

{mosads}They also surveilled him being driven by staff during trips in Hawaii and Georgia, according to the newspaper.

Four members of Long’s staff made a total of 25 trips to North Carolina, none of which included official business, investigators found, according to the Post. At taxpayer expense, the staff members stayed at hotels near Long’s home and were paid overtime or compensatory time.

The Post reported that, in all, the 40 trips cost taxpayers $94,000 in staff salary, $55,000 in travel expenses and $2,000 in vehicle maintenance. 

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported findings from parts of the same investigation, including that Long spent $151,000 on unauthorized travel. 

The Journal and the Post each reported that Long used government vehicles to drive him and his family around during a trip to Hawaii. During that trip, an aide drove Long and his family to visit a Dole pineapple plantation and a volcano, the Post reported.

Long also had a staffer drive him 150 miles from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to a funeral for his wife’s grandfather in McRae, Ga., the Post reported, citing the inspector general report.

Long’s travel came under public scrutiny after Politico reported last week that he used government resources to take weekend trips to North Carolina. 

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Friday in a statement that she had ordered Long to pay back the government “as appropriate.” 

Tags Kirstjen Nielsen

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