FEMA Head Brock Long, Investigated Over Vehicle Use, Resigns - NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

FEMA Head Brock Long, Investigated Over Vehicle Use, Resigns

Last year, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Long used government vehicles without proper authorization

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    The Dos and Don'ts of Good Sleep
    AP
    President Donald Trump walks with FEMA Administrator Brock Long, left, as he visits a neighborhood impacted by the Woolsey Fire, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Malibu, Calif.

    The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency resigned Wednesday after a two-year tenure in which he managed the response to historic wildfires and major hurricanes but was dogged by questions over his use of government vehicles.

    Brock Long said in a letter to FEMA employees that he was resigning to spend more time at home with his family. His last day is March 8.

    He did not mention the investigation by the agency's watchdog that found he had used government vehicles without authorization, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said last fall that Long would repay the government and would not lose his job.

    Nielsen said Long led the agency admirably. "I appreciate his tireless dedication to FEMA and his commitment to fostering a culture of preparedness across the nation," she said in a statement.

    Sparks Fly Between Sen. Warren, Mark Esper Over Ties to Defense Contractor at Confirmation Hearing

    [NATL] Sparks Fly Between Sen. Warren, Mark Esper Over Ties to Defense Contractor at Confirmation Hearing

    During a confirmation hearing for Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Senator Elizabeth Warren said because of his ties to lobbying for defense contractor Raytheon and refusal to recuse himself, he is not fit to be Secretary of Defense.

    (Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019)

    His deputy, Pete Gaynor, will become acting head of the agency.

    Word leaked of the internal probe in September, just as Hurricane Florence was landing in the Carolinas. Homeland Security officials said there had been a longstanding practice of FEMA administrators using government vehicles to ensure they could remain connected during a crisis. But the use of government vehicles for home-to-work travel was not officially authorized, and that practice was eliminated in April.

    The report by Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General also found Long used government vehicles for non-official reasons. It said this cost taxpayers $94,000 in staff salary, $55,000 in travel expenses and $2,000 in vehicle maintenance.

    The House Oversight Committee had also been looking into the allegations.

    Long said he accepted full responsibility for the unauthorized use of the vehicles.

    He took over FEMA in June 2017, presiding over a particularly grueling hurricane season that included Irma, Harvey and Maria, plus wildfires in California that were the deadliest ever for the state. The response to Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, has been heavily criticized, and Long has said FEMA learned lessons on how to better prepare. 

    House GOP Leadership Defends Trump's Tweets: 'No,' Not Racist

    [NATL] House GOP Leadership Defends Trump's Tweets: 'No,' Not Racist

    Republican leaders in the House responded Tuesday to the outcry over President Donald Trump's tweets during a weekly news conference to address the media. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he didn't believe Trump's comments about four Democratic congresswomen of color were racist and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., claimed GOP opposition to Democrats is based on policies and not "race or gender or religion."

    (Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019)