Rep. García on FEMA Officials Arrested for Corruption in Puerto Rico Relief Efforts

September 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) released the following statement regarding charges against a contractor and two former officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for allegedly committing fraud while overseeing relief efforts after Hurricane María in Puerto Rico:

“We are now learning that while millions of people in Puerto Rico waited for months to have power restored in their homes, former FEMA officials Ahsha Tribble and Jovanda Patterson may have taken multiple bribes to help Cobra Acquisitions secure almost $2 billion in federal contracts to repair the island’s electrical grid.

“A career in public service is an opportunity to serve our country and make the lives of our fellow citizens better, not an opportunity to make money out of others’ misfortune. The charges brought against these government officials confirm that the callous response from the Trump Administration in the aftermath of the hurricane was also hampered by corruption.

“Next week will mark two years since Maria devastated the island, and still many Puerto Ricans have tarps for roofs as the Trump administration continues to block disbursal of aid. Our fellow Puerto Ricans deserve much better. I’ve supported legislation in the Financial Services Committee to reform the disaster relief funding and I will continue to work to hold this Administration accountable and address the needs of Puerto Rico.”