Trump's FEMA Chief Faces Investigation For Personal Use Of Government Vehicles

FEMA chief’s use of official cars investigated report

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The investigation includes, but may not be limited to, travel using government resources, and that would include the administrator's travel in government vehicles on the taxpayer's dime, the source told CNN.

The Trump administration's management of FEMA has come into scrutiny amid the approach of Hurricane Florence, a Category 3 hurricane threatening the East Coast. That accident, coupled with Long's absence from work during six-hour drives between Washington and his home in Hickory, N.C., apparently prompted the investigation.

The contingency aide program, meant for allowing Long to remain in contact with his agency, "was never intended for this objective", a former official told the news outlet.

Long said he was cooperating with the investigation and defended his use of the government vehicles, which he said are needed to provide secure communications.

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The travel situation has been a point of tension between Long and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen - and she even confronted him about the issue at a meeting in late August, the report said.

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

Long reportedly began having a government driver take him home since he took control of FEMA previous year. "You know doing something unethical is not part of my DNA, and it's not part of my track record and my whole entire career, so, we'll work with the OIG to get anything corrected", Long said.

"All questions about any potential investigation by the Office of the Inspector General should be directed to the [inspector general]".

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Long addressed the IG investigation during a FEMA briefing on Thursday, saying that his office will be working with the IG's "to make improvements to make sure we are running programs and policies according to regulation".

Politico said Long began using a staff driver for his trips home from Washington when his term began previous year, and that aides also traveled with him at taxpayer expense.

While DHS employees must typically be authorized to use government vehicles for personal use, like what Long has done, there are special exceptions for the FEMA administrator.

Since his first days in the job, Long has used a staff driver to take him back to North Carolina on weekends.

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