Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) head could be replaced amid the natural disaster of Hurricane Florence as he is alleged to have misused resources for traveling to his North Carolina home.
Internal investigation is under process targeting Brock Long who traveled frequently between Washington and Hickory in North Carolina, about 400 miles each way. It is alleged he often left headquarters on Thursdays using a caravan of federal workers and since joining office last year he had spent about 150 days at home. The workers stayed in nearby hotels during those weekends.
Long has denied all such allegations while White House is discussing potential replacements. He said, “(he) would never intentionally run a program incorrectly.” He pledged to cooperate with the ongoing investigation but meanwhile currently he and FEMA are fully focused on Hurricane Florence and life safety mission.
Amid the investigation the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general is reviewing all the communications made between Long and a contractor of FEMA regarding to matters like using an SUV of federal government without properly reporting and discussions about future employment.
It is learned the DHS attorneys had informed Long late last year about the law violations of his trips the caravan was tailed too in finding whether he was misusing resources even after the warnings.
The final report from the table of inspector general is still awaited, but DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in preliminary findings Long has been urged to step down if the allegations are true.
Meanwhile, a DHS spokesman said in a released statement currently the agency is more focused Hurricane Florence and the response preparations.
A person familiar to the matter said senior White House officials discussed about the replacement earlier for several days, but White House Chief of Staff John Kelly finally decided to wait for the final.
Lately with the forecast of Hurricane Florence there had been frequent meetings between President Trump and Long with praises for the FEMA director citing last year’s responses during storms in Texas and Florida.
Apart from all these, it is very true Long is well liked inside FEMA agency.