News & Politics

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

Emergency administrator Brock Long is being probed by the Office of the Inspector General.

Brock Long

On Thursday, Politico reported that Brock Long, President Donald Trump's administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General for potential improper use of government property.

Specifically, Long is accused of using government cars for personal weekend travel to his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina — which has drawn scrutiny from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as well as the inspector general. Some sources say Nielsen even suggested Long resign, although others dispute this account.

Numerous Trump administration officials have been accused of improperly using taxpayer money and government resources for personal benefit. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned in disgrace amid reports he billed the government for personal travel aboard private and military planes, as did former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt after reports he used taxpayer resources to fly first class and chartered jets, hunt for rental properties, go to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl, vacation in Italy, and even try to get his wife a Chick-Fil-A franchise.

Also under scrutiny, but still in office, are Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who tried to purchase a $31,000 dining room set on a government account and lied about it, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who spent $139,000 upgrading doors in his office.

The investigation into Long's conduct comes as FEMA is facing a potentially monumental disaster relief task as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas. The agency's track record under Trump, including last year's disaster in Puerto Rico that killed nearly 3,000 people, does not inspire confidence, and nor do reports Trump raided $10 million from the agency's budget to pay for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

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Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.