President Donald Trump, left, listens to a reporters question FEMA Administrator Brock Long -, middle -, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, right, listen during a briefing on Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON – the head of the government disaster relief agency said Thursday that he never intentionally misused federal vehicles, followed by a report he was under investigation by the Homeland Security Department’s internal watchdog.
Brock Long discussion about the investigation, first reported by the Politico, a briefing on Hurricane Florence, that he would cooperate, and own up to mistakes.
“Something is unethical is not part of my DNA and it is not part of my track record in my whole career,” said Long, who leads the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Long said the inspector general was looking into the use of the vehicle, but he would not confirm that the review involved use of an official vehicle. Politico reported Long was there an investigation of possible misuse of the resources of the government and the staff in the weekend to travel home to Hickory, North Carolina.
Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for Homeland Security, FEMA’s parent agency, referred questions to the inspector general of the office, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Houlton said in a statement that Homeland Security is “fully focused on preparing for, responding to and recovering from the Hurricane Florence and the storms in the Pacific ocean.”
He said the Secretary-Kirstjen Nielsen “trust in the leadership at FEMA and their proven disaster-response ability,” he said.
Another Trump officials have been investigated for ethical issues related to travel.
The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigned in July after allegations of outsized spending for security, first class flights and a darling condo lease. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was fired in March in the midst of questionable travel costs and a growing revolt in his agency about the privatization of medical care. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was fired last year after it was announced he took precious charter flights instead of commercial aircraft.
Long, who took over last year, shortly before the Hurricane Harvey struck, he said that he did not want the investigation to distract from the preparations for a large storm was on the way to the US.
He said that he is “100 percent focused” on the Florence, which was rolled in the direction of the Carolina coast.