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FEMA Administrator Brock Long Says He Will Step Down

14 February 2019

"It has been a great honor to serve our country as FEMA Administrator for the past two years", said Long in the release.

"I leave knowing the agency is in good hands", Long said. But the use of government vehicles for home-to-work travel was not officially authorized, and that practice was eliminated in April.

In a statement, Long said FEMA had provided assistance on "more than 200 declared disasters" and thanked President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, whom he said "have been extremely supportive of me, the FEMA workforce and our mission".

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Long had been investigated by the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog a year ago over allegations that he inappropriately used government vehicles to travel to his home in North Carolina.

In the post since June 2017, he has led the response to several extreme natural disasters, including the heavily criticised operation in Puerto Rico after a devastating hurricane.

But Long's time as the head of FEMA was also controversial.

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After his resignation was announced Wednesday, Nielsen said in a statement that Long had "admirably led the men and women of FEMA during very hard, historic and complex times".

"The president and his entire administration provided unprecedented support to the agency as we led the nation through the historic 2017 hurricane and wildfire season", he said.

Long also served as FEMA administrator through Hurricane Harvey, which rocked Houston, Hurricanes Irma and Michael's landfall in Florida, wildfires in California, and more. FEMA's response to Maria was widely criticized as slow and inadequate. "We've got to figure out how to build better baseline capabilities at all levels of government".

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Long said FEMA's No. 2 official, Pete Gaynor, would take over on a temporary basis when he departs. It was not immediately clear when he would leave the agency.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long Says He Will Step Down