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FEMA Chief Nearly Got Fired as Hurricane Brewed

Probe into Brock Long looks at travel expenses and other issues
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2018 2:37 PM CDT
Trump Team Nearly Fired FEMA Head as Florence Grew
In this Sept. 11, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump, left, talks about Hurricane Florence during a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington as FEMA Administrator Brock Long listens at right.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

With Hurricane Florence rolling in, FEMA Administrator Brock Long was close to getting fired—and still could be, the Wall Street Journal reports. 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. Seems Long has taken the 800-mile round-trip drive many times, spending 150 days of weekends and days off in North Carolina since he was hired in 2017. DHS attorneys warned him last fall that the trips were illegal.

What's more, insiders say there are communications between Long and a FEMA contractor that touch on possible future employment. There's also a federal government SUV used by Long that got into an accident that apparently wasn't reported. Now the White House is mulling possible replacements for Long. "I would never intentionally run a program incorrectly," Long said at a FEMA meeting Thursday regarding the probe, per Politico. "Doing something unethical is not part of my DNA, and it is not part of my track record in my whole entire career." He also said FEMA was "100% focused" on Florence. The inspector general's report is expected in the coming days. (More FEMA stories.)

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