FEMA nominee withdraws amid report of Katrina conflict

FEMA Nominee Drops Out After False Records Questions

FEMA Nominee Drops Out After False Records Questions

The nominee to be deputy administrator of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) withdrew from consideration on Wednesday after a news organization raised questions about a government probe that found he had falsified records when he served in the government in 2005. "However, I respect his decision to withdraw from consideration at this time to ensure that the focus on FEMA remains on the lifesaving and community restoring work the agency does so well".

Craig was nominated by President Donald Trump in July to be the deputy administrator of FEMA, which is now busy responding to devastation from hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Asked about the issue on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to directly answer whether the president knew about the past investigation when he nominated Craig. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs had not yet moved forward on his nomination. After leaving FEMA, Craig became a lobbyist for a Miami-based law firm working on behalf of a client that secured more than $1 billion in FEMA contracts.

The investigation, jointly conducted by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, concluded there was insufficient evidence that Craig had violated conflict-of-interest laws in the awarding of huge FEMA contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to the report.

The report on that probe is not public, but NBC News obtained a copy. The report found that while Craig claimed on a voucher that an August 2005 trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was for FEMA business, the trip was actually for an interview with The Shaw Group.

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