Brock Long Steps Down As FEMA Administrator

During his tenure, Long came under fire for improperly using government resources and mishandling the Hurricane Maria response.
Embattled FEMA chief Brock Long is leaving the agency.
Embattled FEMA chief Brock Long is leaving the agency.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will step down, he announced Wednesday.

Long, who has come under intense scrutiny for his response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and personal use of government funds, said in his announcement that he was leaving to focus on his family.

“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. 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.”

Deputy FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor will take over for Long as the acting head of the agency.

Last September, news broke that Homeland Security Department watchdogs had been investigating Long’s spending for months and found he improperly used government resources at least 40 times during his tenure, costing taxpayers more than $150,000.

Though DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Long would not lose his job over the spending, she was rumored to be seeking a replacement in light of the embarrassment to the agency.

Prominent Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have continued to call for an investigation into FEMA’s handling of the Hurricane Maria disaster in 2017 and why thousands died in the wake of the storm.