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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Craig Fugate quietly leaves FEMA post

President Obama and Craig Fugate

White House

President Obama and Craig Fugate



WASHINGTON - Craig Fugate was never one to call attention to himself, so it's fitting that tenure as the nation's disaster response chief ended without fanfare.

Fugate resgined as FEMA administrator just before President Trump took office, a routine move for political appoinees. The acting head is Robert Fenton.

"I'm a Gator," Fugate told the Tampa Bay Times in 2011. "As soon as the president says I am done, I will be on the way back home as fast as I can get in my vehicle and crank the ignition."

Fugate ran the Florida Emergency Management Division from 2001 to 2009,  a time known for a series of punishing hurricanes. President Obama appointed him in 2009 and by all accounts, Fugate ran FEMA well, even as Gov. Rick Scott sometimes complained about a lack of federal funds.

We're seeking information from FEMA.

In early January, Fugate wrote a piece for the Tampa Bay Times on a smarter way to fund disaster recovery in America.

"FEMA has proposed an alternative based on an insurance model. What if states were required to kick in a larger share of disaster recovery costs up front? In other words, states would have to pay a "deductible" toward recovery costs for certain types of assistance after each disaster as a condition of receiving federal funds. Additionally, what if we allowed states to earn credits toward their deductible by making investments in activities that actually save lives, mitigate risks and reduce disaster costs?"

-- Times staff writer Craig Pittman contributed to this report.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 9, 2017 1:44pm]


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