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Chairmen Send Letters to FBI and FEMA Regarding Allegations of the Misappropriation of Hurricane Aid in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 17, 2017 -

Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William B. “Brock” Long and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray concerning allegations of mishandling and misappropriation of emergency supplies provided by the federal government for the people of Puerto Rico by local government officials.

On October 12, 2017, the FBI San Juan Field Office announced its inquiry into the misappropriation of FEMA supplies disseminated to Puerto Rico’s municipalities. According to an FBI Special Agent in San Juan, the complaints include allegations that, “mayors of local municipalities, or people associated with their offices, are giving their political supporters special treatment, goods they’re not giving to other people who need them.”

“The Committee is very troubled by these allegations,” the letters state.

With so many residents still in grave need of basic supplies, it is essential that assistance from the federal government is provided in the most efficient and effective manner possible,” the letters continue. “The public’s confidence in the integrity of FEMA’s distribution of emergency supplies is also imperative. Allegations that local elected officials are distributing life-sustaining FEMA emergency supplies based on political loyalty is deeply disturbing. Any persons misappropriating FEMA emergency supplies should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The letters request briefings from the FBI and FEMA by October 23, 2017.

Cosigners of the letter include Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Chairman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR).

Click here to read the letter to FEMA Director Long.
Click here to read the letter to FBI Director Wray.  

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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