FEMA Chief Under Probe for Using Official Cars

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The inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security is investigating whether Long improperly used agency vehicles to commute from Washington to North Carolina, where his family resides, according to a report by Politico.

"I'm very aware of a recent article in regards to an ongoing investigation by the OIG in regards to FEMA vehicle usage", Long said.

Both FEMA and ICE are agencies managed by DHS.

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the East Coast, with tropical storm-force blasting the shoreline, the government's lead disaster official is under an internal investigation for his alleged misuse of government cars, POLITICO reports.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long speaks during a news conference at the National Hurricane Center as National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, right, looks on, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Miami.

Merkely told MSNBC he believes the reallocation occurred because of President Donald Trump's much-publicized "zero tolerance" immigration policy. An investigation by the inspector general was triggered after Long was reportedly in an accident with one of the vehicles, a black Chevy Suburban.

Hurricane Florence Breaks North Carolina Rainfall Record
Police block a road as rain from Hurricane Florence falls in Wilmington, North Carolina on 13 September 2018. Forecasters say catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over parts of North Carolina and SC ahead.

Reports also claim Long was notified about his violations, and was urged by the Homeland Security secretary to consider resigning.

He said Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen "is confident in the leadership at FEMA and their proven disaster management ability", he said.

FEMA director of external affairs Jessica Nalepa said any questions regarding an investigation should be directed to the DHS IG, adding FEMA "fully cooperates with all investigations conducted by the DHS OIG". She called Long "an experienced and respected emergency manager".

Representatives for the inspector general and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Nielsen confronted Long about her frustrations last month, according to Politico. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt were all felled in part due to their own lavish travel scandals. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was sacked previous year after it was disclosed he took costly charter flights instead of commercial planes.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is now under investigation for his role in a real estate deal in his hometown.