When an incident hits my news stream involving a government official taking advantage of their position to make personal gains, most people (myself included) assume they’re probably guilty. I know we live in a society where people are innocent until proven guilty, but let’s face it. 99 times out of 100 it turns out the people accused of abusing their government power were abusing their government power.
That may not be the case for FEMA Chief Brock Long.
WSJ reported this afternoon that an investigation had been launched regarding Long’s use of a government vehicle to travel home in North Carolina from Washington DC.
WASHINGTON — An investigation targeting President Donald Trump’s top emergency-management official has been referred to federal prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges should be pursued, according to people familiar with the probe.
Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and two other federal employees may have broken multiple laws while they commuted frequently between Washington and Long’s home in Hickory, N.C., at taxpayers’ expense said one of the people briefed on the investigation.
So far, it seems like a clear case they inspector general should be able to recommend for prosecution pretty easily. He took a government vehicle back and forth long distances when he wasn’t working. Case closed, right?
Not so fast. As FEMA Chief, Long technically is always working, always on call. Here’s where the case gets interesting. The vehicle in question has classified equipment necessary for communication when FEMA is needed. According to Long’s colleagues, he was required to use the vehicle when travelling anywhere. Failure to do so would be dereliction of his duties as FEMA Chief.
The details haven’t been released yet and the fact that this didn’t get cleared up by simply showing the super gadgets in a car and a memo saying, “never go home without it,” indicates there’s at least something here to investigate. Nevertheless, let’s not jump to conclusions. With the Carolinas still in a state of disaster, Long has plenty on his plate already.
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