FEMA chief to keep job but must reimburse government
FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long has been ordered to reimburse the government for his misuse of federal vehicles, but he will be allowed to remain in his job, according to statements from Long and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen released late Friday.
The statements appeared to be aimed at overcoming a tense feud between Long and Nielsen that has distracted staff at FEMA right at the moment that the agency is coping with flooding from Hurricane Florence.
A person familiar with Long’s case said he will not be referred for criminal charges, a possibility that left him on the verge of quitting right as Florence hit his home state, North Carolina.
President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants Long to stay in the job, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In a phone call Friday morning, Long and Nielsen discussed the inspector general’s final report, according to two senior government officials, and seemed to reach a resolution to their bitter feud.
In her statement, Nielsen said a review of the FEMA administrator’s conduct by the DHS Inspector General was complete. Long’s use of government vehicles to travel between Washington and his home in Hickory, N.C., had been done “without proper authorization,” she said.
Long’s statement, sent to reporters by DHS officials, said he would take “corrective action.”
“I accept full responsibility for any mistakes that were made by me or the agency,” the statement said.