Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

FEMA chief says he would 'never intentionally run a program incorrectly'

FEMA chief says he would 'never intentionally run a program incorrectly'

Investigators working for the Department of Homeland Security inspector general have already warned the White House about Long taking a caravan of federal workers on his trips home to Hickory, NC, and putting them up in hotels on the taxpayers' dime.

Politico said Long began using a staff driver for those journeys when his term began a year ago, and that aides also traveled with him at taxpayer expense.

Long did not resign, and officials with the Homeland Security Department declined to comment to Politico on the status of his investigation. Apple creating portal for police data requests Trump says administration is "absolutely and totally prepared" for Hurricane Florence MORE, according to the officials, who told Politico that Nielsen confronted Long about his travel habits late last month and asked him to consider resigning.

"I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly", Long said. But using those vehicles for personal trips or other activities runs afoul of government misuse regulations. "Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA and it's not part of my track record my whole entire career so we'll work with the OIG", he continued.

FEMA, the agency in charge of coordinating the federal response to Florence, was criticized past year for its handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Florence death toll rises to 5 amid massive deluge
There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning. He moved quickly as workers helped him empty more than 1,000 mattresses from a warehouse in a low-lying strip mall.

In a statement, FEMA Director of External Affairs Jessica Nalepa referred any questions about the reported investigation to the DHS inspector general's office, and said the disaster agency cooperated with all such investigations.

The news comes just hours before Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the coast of the Carolinas.

Meanwhile, a DHS spokesman said in a released statement now the agency is more focused Hurricane Florence and the response preparations.

He pledged to cooperate with the ongoing investigation but meanwhile now he and FEMA are fully focused on Hurricane Florence and life safety mission. The official death toll is only 64.

He said Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen "is confident in the leadership at FEMA and their proven disaster management ability", he said. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt were all felled in part due to their own lavish travel scandals.

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