FEMA Chief to Reimburse Cost of Improperly Using Government Vehicles

President Trump’s top disaster official agreed to repay the government for the improper use of federal vehicles and received a show of support from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Source: WSJ - Michael G. Bender | Published on September 24, 2018

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“Corrective actions” are being taken, Ms. Nielsen said Friday. She said she had ordered Brock Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to repay the government “as appropriate” for costs related to what she called the inappropriate use of cars and staff to commute between Washington and his home in North Carolina.

Ms. Nielsen didn’t specify the amount, and her spokesman declined to comment.

Mr. Long’s use of government vehicles and staff—who drove him the 400 miles between FEMA headquarters and his home—was the subject of an investigation by the DHS inspector general’s office. Its findings had been referred to the U.S. attorney’s office for potential criminal charges, but a person familiar with the matter said Friday that charges wouldn’t be pursued.

“I appreciate Administrator Long and the entire FEMA staff’s continued professional focus on their mission during this investigation and have full confidence in their ability to continue to perform,” Ms. Nielsen said in a statement.

The inspector general found Mr. Long was using government vehicles without proper authorization, she said, adding that she and Mr. Long are committed to taking “corrective actions to prevent such issues from recurring” and that the program that enabled him to use the government cars was eliminated in April.

In the same statement, Mr. Long said he accepted responsibility for mistakes without saying what errors were his fault.

“The secretary and I are taking corrective action to prevent such mistakes from happening in the future,” Mr. Long said.