MacArthur, ex-FEMA workers add fuel to Sandy fraud fire
Former workers of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) step forward to substantiate allegations of fraud and mismanagement of Superstorm Sandy flood insurance claims.
The workers were brought into the light today by shore Representative Tom MacArthur (R-3), who reiterated his call for a formal probe of FEMA operations. Standing with the Congressman in Washington was Jeff Coolidge, OST Flood Manager for Sandy Claims Review.
The disclosures coincided with the arrival of several busloads of Superstorm-damaged home owners from New Jersey and New York to demand reforms within the agency, organized by Seaside Park-based Stop FEMA Now.
"Their brave move to come forward exposes a systemic effort by FEMA to wrongfully deny the claims of Sandy victims," MacArthur said in prepared comments.
"This provides our office the catalyst needed to demand a thorough and independent investigation into this matter. FEMA has failed to provide the appropriate oversight and controls necessary to assist the most vulnerable victims. My constituents have been wronged, and they deserve justice. The federal government cannot and should not be immune to the consequences of their actions."
Suspicions that developed among policy holders in the 2012 storm's aftermath took on new dimensions in a CBS "60 Minutes" segment in March 2015, when a senior FEMA official cited fraudulent practices behind claim rejections that affected thousands of Superstorm survivors.
MacArthur demanded FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate's resignation at the time, and renewed it earlier this year. A subsequent investigation concluded that the agency lacked internal controls capable of managing and mitigating National Flood Insurance Program funds.
The former workers completed affadavits, one stating that the reason for leaving was an "elaborate process designed to justify minimal payments to policyholders irrespective of actual merits of their claims."
MacArthur is scheduled to appear on Townsquare's "Ask The Congressman," June 1, on WOBM-AM Newstalk 1160/1310.