FEMA Nominee Withdraws Amid Questions About Falsifying Records

President Donald Trump turns to Vice President Mike Pence as they meet with emergency officials to discuss the hurricane season, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the deputy administrator at FEMA told NBC News on Wednesday that he would withdraw from consideration for the position, after the outlet asked him about a government report that found he falsified records while previously working for the agency.

“Given the distraction this will cause the Agency in a time when they cannot afford to lose focus, I have withdrawn from my nomination,” Daniel Craig told NBC News in an email.

President Donald Trump nominated Craig to the No. 2 spot at the agency in mid-July, but the Senate had yet to confirm Craig to the post.

An investigation conducted by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General found that Craig falsified travel and timekeeping records while he worked awarding FEMA contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to NBC News.

The report on that probe is not public, but NBC News obtained a copy.

According to the report, while he was working for the agency Craig looked for work at a firm, The Shaw Group, that had received a FEMA contract. The report found that while Craig claimed on a voucher that an August 2005 trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was for FEMA business, the trip was actually for an interview with The Shaw Group.

Craig told NBC News that the report was the result of “poor” investigating and that some information contained in it was wrong.

Investigators launched the probe to determine whether Craig broke conflict of interest laws by seeking employment at firms bidding for contracts with FEMA, per NBC News. However, the probe did not find there was enough evidence to show Craig broke conflict-of-interest laws, and he was never charged with a crime.

Craig did make an attempt to recuse himself from matters involving Shaw, according to a letter obtained by the Project on Government Oversight. However, that letter came only after he started interviewing for a job at the firm, and after the firm was awarded a contract, per NBC News.

Read the full report here.