Casino Panel Snagged Aid Intended for Katrina Victims

FEMA sat on donated goods for 2 years, then gave them to state agencies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2008 5:54 AM CDT
Residents who remained in New Orleans celebrate their first Thanksgiving after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Household goods donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims instead ended up in the hands of 11 state agencies, including a gaming commission, CNN reports. FEMA stored 121 truckloads of items two years before handing them over to agencies like the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Leaders of groups helping Katrina victims were amazed when shown what the agencies received, saying they had no idea such items were available.

The Gaming Commission received a coffeemaker, pillows and two stoves, among other goods. Mississippi politicians plan to probe why FEMA kept the items for so long before offering them around to states and federal agencies. A spokeswoman for the Gaming Commission said the agency kept the items "in case of another hurricane."