MEMA Director Refutes Claims

The office of inspector general is urging FEMA to suspend all grant payments on the $29.9 million Coastal Retrofit Program in Mississippi.
The investigation alleges Mississippi did not provide the proper oversight of the money for the Hazard Mitigation Program, allowing one person complete authority over it.
It also says Mississippi has spent $31.5 million dollars in state funds to complete work on just 945 of the estimated 2,000 homes, but has claimed only $958,000 for FEMA reimbursement.
MEMA Director Lee Smithson is refuting the report, saying in part: “I had no control of this program. Upon taking over on February 1, 2016, I contacted the OIG and terminated the employee mentioned in the report. All other staff associated with the retrofit program are no longer with the agency.”

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