White House

FEMA administrator departs, says it’s ‘time for me to go home to my family’

Brock Long departs after questions about use of government vehicles

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long is leaving the agency. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long, who during his tenure had to repay the government for using vehicles in a nonofficial capacity, resigned his position Wednesday.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that Deputy Administrator Pete Gaynor will become the acting administrator.

Long said in a statement that he was departing FEMA for what is an all-too-familiar reason.

“While this has been the opportunity of the lifetime, it is time for me to go home to my family — my beautiful wife and two incredible boys,” he said. “As a career emergency management professional, I could not be prouder to have worked alongside the devoted, hardworking men and women of FEMA for the past two years.”

Nielsen praised Long’s leadership of the government’s lead agency on disaster relief, stating that “over the last two years, Administrator Long has admirably led the men and women of FEMA during very difficult, historic and complex times.”

“Under Brock’s leadership, FEMA has successfully supported State and Territory-led efforts to respond and recover from 6 major hurricanes, 5 historic wildfires and dozens of other serious emergencies. I appreciate his tireless dedication to FEMA and his commitment to fostering a culture of preparedness across the nation,” she said in a statement.

Long was sworn in to lead FEMA in June 2017. He later became embroiled in controversy after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general launched an internal investigation into whether Long misused government vehicles during commutes from Washington D.C. to North Carolina, where his family resides.

Long later agreed to reimburse the government for his nonofficial use of government vehicles.

Long also came under fire for the way the agency responded to a series of major natural disasters in 2017.

A  Government Accountability Office report detailed several challenges the agency had to face last year when trying to respond to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the subsequent wildfires. The disasters all occurred within about 30 days of each other.

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