Tags: Disaster Planning | Donald Trump | Trump Administration | fema | federal | emergency | investigation

NBC: Trump FEMA Nominee Drops Out Amid Investigation

Image: NBC: Trump FEMA Nominee Drops Out Amid Investigation
(Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 03:32 PM

President Donald Trump's nominee for deputy Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Wednesday withdrew himself from consideration, saying questions raised by NBC News about a federal investigation concerning him would cause too much distraction for FEMA.

"Given the distraction this will cause the agency in a time when they cannot afford to lose focus, I have withdrawn from my nomination," the nominee, Daniel A. Craig, said in an email to NBC News, the network reported Wednesday afternoon.

Craig had served from 2003 to 2005, under President George W. Bush's administration, as FEMA's director of recovery, and most recently worked as senior vice president for the disaster preparedness and recovery firm.

NBC News raised questions about a federal investigation that found he had falsified government travel and timekeeping records when he served in the Bush administration in 2005.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General concluded, in the 2011 investigation, there was insufficient evidence to prove claims Craig violated conflict-of-interest laws for awarded FEMA contracts after Hurricane Katrina.

Craig said, in his announcement he was withdrawing his nomination, there was incorrect information in the report and the IG's office did not follow up on information investigators had been given.

When Craig came under scrutiny, FEMA had been giving $100 million contracts to private firms to pay for temporary housing, and the IG report said Craig had been seeking employment from the firms.

Craig had never been charged with a crime, and says he did nothing wrong. Further, he said he has properly accounted for his hours.

In addition, after Craig left FEMA, he become a lobbyist for the Miami-based law firm Akerman Senterfitt, NBC reported. While there, Craig worked on behalf of a client that had secured more than $1 billion in FEMA contracts after Hurricane Katrina. However, Craig had been subject to a one-year prohibition against lobbying FEMA officials, as he had been a former employee in a senior government position.

According to Akerman account statements cited in the report, Craig had dinner with two FEMA employees, but submitted the bill to the law firm as being for his business expenses.

Trump nominated Craig in July, but the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs had not yet moved forward on the nod.

Craig told NBC he had never tried to hide the investigation from the Trump administration or the Senate, and he had mentioned the matter in his answers in the questionnaire he filled out.

NBC said it reviewed 18 pages of the 21-page summary of the 2011 IG report, but has not seen a full copy.

The White House has not responded for a request for comment. When Craig was nominated though, it announced in a press release he had been in charge of recovery services and funds for victims of several disasters, including following the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia explosion.

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President Donald Trump's nominee for deputy Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Wednesday withdrew himself from consideration, saying questions raised by NBC News about a federal investigation concerning him would cause too much distraction for FEMA.
fema, federal, emergency, investigation
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2017-32-13
Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 03:32 PM
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