Embattled FEMA Director steps down
“After the devastating mismanagement of disaster recovery efforts across Puerto Rico, a mere resignation leaves us wanting,” the advocacy coalition, Power 4…
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After nearly two controversy-plagued years on the job, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Brock Long resigned from his post on Wednesday.
Long oversaw FEMA’s lackluster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in late 2017 - a natural disaster that killed nearly 3,000 U.S. citizens.
An internal report released last summer determined that the agency failed to both adequately prepare for a major hurricane on the island, and execute a competent response in the hurricane’s aftermath.
Long was also embroiled in months of controversy surrounding his use of government vehicles and personnel to travel between his North Carolina home and FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to CNN.
An investigation by the inspector general’s office found that the former agency director continued to misuse government resources in this way, even after being instructed not to do so.
“After the devastating mismanagement of disaster recovery efforts across Puerto Rico, a mere resignation leaves us wanting,” the advocacy coalition, Power 4 Puerto Rico, said in a press release.
“FEMA's response to Hurricane Maria was a failure under the watch of Brock Long and President Donald Trump. We continue to support the creation of an investigative commission as proposed by Representative Nydia Velázquez to learn the full truth of what went wrong in the government’s response.”
Meanwhile, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen praised Long upon his resignation.
“Over the last two years, Administrator Long has admirably led the men and women of FEMA during very difficult, historic and complex times,” Nielsen said in a statement. “Under Brock’s leadership, FEMA has successfully supported State and Territory-led efforts to respond and recover from six major hurricanes, 5 historic wildfires and dozens of other serious emergencies.”
The agency’s deputy director Pete Gaynor will serve as acting administrator once Long officially leaves his post.