FEMA Administrator Brock Long resigns
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long announced his resignation on Wednesday, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Long had been head of FEMA since June 2017, presiding over a particularly grueling hurricane season that included Irma, Harvey and Maria, plus wildfires in California. The response to Maria was heavily criticized and Long has said FEMA learned lessons on how to better prepare for storms.
In a statement Wednesday, Long said: “While this has been the opportunity of the lifetime, it is time for me to go home to my family – my beautiful wife and two incredible boys. As a career emergency management professional, I could not be prouder to have worked alongside the devoted, hardworking men and women of FEMA for the past two years. Upon my departure, Mr. Peter Gaynor, will serve as Acting FEMA Administrator."
Last year, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Long used government vehicles without proper authorization.
Long had been under investigation by the Homeland Security Department's watchdog over possibly misusing government vehicles to travel to his home in Hickory, North Carolina.
Nielsen said in a statement at the time that there had been a longstanding practice to transport FEMA administrators in government vehicles to ensure they could remain connected during a crisis. But despite this practice, use of government vehicles for home-to-work travel was not officially authorized, and that practice was eliminated in April.
Nielsen said the report by Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General also found Long used government vehicles for non-official reasons.
She said they spoke about the problems and Long agreed to reimburse the government. She said she directed the department to review policy on home-to-work transportation problems, assess communication requirements at FEMA so officials can be best connected during disasters, and to review of and training regarding proper use of government vehicles.
"We had a productive conversation where we discussed my expectations regarding the agency's use of government vehicles going forward," Nielsen said in a statement. "The administrator acknowledged that mistakes were made, and he took personal responsibility."
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