Former Top FEMA Official in Puerto Rico Arrested in Bribery Probe

HeadlineSep 11, 2019

A former top official in the Federal Emergency Management Agency was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly taking bribes from the head of a company who received $1.8 billion in federal contracts to repair Puerto Rico’s power grid after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017. Former Deputy FEMA Administrator Ahsha Tribble reportedly accepted lavish gifts from Donald Keith Ellison, the head of a company called Cobra Acquisitions. The gifts included first-class plane tickets and hotel rooms, a helicopter ride over Puerto Rico, a New York City apartment and access to one of Ellison’s credit cards. Ellison and a former FEMA employee who went on to work at Cobra were also arrested. The U.S. attorney for Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez, said, “They took advantage of one of the most vulnerable moments in the history of Puerto Rico to enrich themselves.” While President Trump has repeatedly accused Puerto Rican officials of being corrupt, none of the parties involved in the bribery scheme were Puerto Rican.

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