FEMA chief's dual challenge: huge hurricane and inspector general inquiry


Brock Long, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is reportedly under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's ethics watchdog office for possibly misusing government vehicles, according to three current and former administration officials familiar with the matter who told Politico.

Politico reported Long was under investigation for possibly misusing government resources and personnel on weekend trips home to Hickory, North Carolina.

Long has said he will cooperate with the investigation and take it as an opportunity to make improvements to remain in line with regulations.

The news comes just hours before Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the coast of the Carolinas. "Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA and it is not part of my track record in my whole entire career".

Police enforce a mandatory evacuation in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Representatives for the inspector general and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

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If their homes are damaged, FEMA has options beyond standard temporary trailers for housing, agency officials said. "At this time, we are fully focused on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from Hurricane Florence and the storms in the Pacific", DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton told Politico in a statement.

FEMA director of external affairs Jessica Nalepa said any questions regarding an investigation should be directed to the DHS IG, adding FEMA "fully cooperates with all investigations conducted by the DHS OIG".

Long said the inspector general was looking into vehicle usage, but he didn't confirm that the review concerned his use of an official vehicle.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has thousands of modular homes on hand along with other temporary housing options tested by last year's spate of storms, as Hurricane Florence bears down on the U.S. Southeast, the agency said on Thursday.

Long reportedly began having a government driver take him home since he took control of FEMA previous year.

Long is now one of several top Trump administration officials who have faced intense scrutiny of their travel habits. USA government watchdogs have also chastised Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over his spending.