April Thomas, 206.321.3850, email@example.com
San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Today, two top FEMA officials from the Trump administration were indicted and arrested for fraud and conspiracy for their roles in Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria.
Former Cobra Energy President Donald Keith Ellison was also arrested and indicted alongside Ahsha Tribble, the former deputy regional administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region II, assigned to work in Puerto Rico as part of FEMA’S response to Hurricane Maria, and Jovanda Patterson, FEMA deputy chief of staff, assigned to San Juan.
In response, Ramon Cruz, Sierra Club Vice President and member of Sierra Club de Puerto Rico, issued the following statement:
“Donald Trump famously claims that $92 billion has been sent to Puerto Rico to support recovery from Hurricane Maria, when in reality only $42 billion has actually been allocated by Congress. Of that, only $14 billion has been received by Puerto Rico. Cobra, whose president was arrested today, was awarded $1.8 billion in contracts for recovery. That’s more than ten percent of the total amount delivered to Puerto Rico so far. How can Puerto Rico ever truly rebuild from Hurricane Maria when our own federal government is lying about how much aid we’ve received, and skimming off the top?
“Trump also constantly accuses the government of Puerto Rico of corruption, in a bid to minimize disaster aid to the island. But this indictment tells a very different story: the openly corrupt Trump administration is robbing the people of Puerto Rico by forcing through contracts that allowed FEMA officials to profit personally from Maria recovery. While the people of Puerto Rico were struggling to get the lights back on and ensure public safety, Donald Trump was throwing paper towels at us and his corrupt administration was lining their pockets at our expense.
“This indictment calls all the funding delivered to Puerto Rico into question. The Trump administration must act immediately to deliver badly needed funds already committed by Congress - without tying the island up in dirty contracts and corrupt dealings.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.