NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some Long Island officials spent hundreds of thousands of dollars during superstorm Sandy on items and services that went beyond cleaning up debris and restoring power, according to a report in Newsday.
According to the newspaper, the purchases included new iPads, clothes, catered meals and generators that were never used.
Newsday reported that Long Island received a total of $474 million from FEMA — more than half was spent on debris removal and roughly $80 million went toward emergency protective measures, where the expenditures were itemized.
Nassau County spokesman Brian Nevin defended the purchases, saying the technology was needed when the power went off and the waterproof jackets and pants were worn by first responders attending to emergencies.
Some experts say it’s a struggle to balance the immediate needs during a disaster and spending taxpayer money wisely.
Local officials also say it’s unclear which items FEMA will ultimately reimburse municipalities for.
They aren’t the only ones confused by FEMA’s business practices. A Department of Homeland Security report says that they continue to find problems with the agency’s grant management, accounting and noncompliance with federal contracting requirements.
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