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Division of Emergency Management Fires Two Employees for Failing to Submit Hurricane Relief Appeals

August 31st, 2017 by Jake Stofan

The Division of Emergency Management has fired two people after they failed to meet a deadline to submit 26 Federal appeals sought by Florida counties and cities.

The mistake could cost local governments in Florida millions.

 

 

Two employees of the State Division of Emergency Management are without a job after failing to submit appeals requested by a 18 Florida cities or counties.

The appeals total more than $4.5 million.

The money would reimburse local governments for hurricane costs.

US Senator Bill Nelson says the firing of the employees isn’t enough.

 

“That still doesn’t help all of the counties and the cities that are in the hole for in this case millions of dollars,” said Nelson.

Emergency Managers refused to be interviewed for this story, but in a statement, said staff changes and procedural improvements have been implemented along with the firings.

The Division says it is conducting an audit of itself to figure out what exactly went wrong and what needs to be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

In the mean time, the affected local governments will have to cross their fingers the money will be forthcoming.

Nelson personally requested FEMA to extend the deadline, saying local governments shouldn’t have to pay for the state’s mistake.

 

“I met with 25 local government city and county managers and I’m telling you they’re desperate. They’ve got a big hole in their budget because FEMA is not reimbursing them the cost that they front loaded to clean up after Hurricane Mathew,” said Nelson.

The Division insists this incident wont interrupt the hundred of appeals it has already submitted to FEMA.

In a statement, the DEM says, “While these appeals have all been denied at least once by FEMA, we are fully committed to working with local, county, state and Federal governments to ensure these appeals are considered.”

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