FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2017
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Sam Marksheid, and Vicki DiStefano | (516) 869-7794
Superstorm Sandy FEMA Funding Will Not Be ‘Clawed Back’
Supervisor Bosworth appreciative of assistance from federal reps
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth announced today that U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi has informed her that the nearly $10 million in Superstorm Sandy Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds that were questioned by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will not be clawed back by FEMA after all. A September 2016 audit by the OIG for the Department of Homeland Security had audited the Town’s handling of FEMA disaster recovery funding following 2011’s Superstorm Sandy under the previous administration and charged that FEMA should recover $9.9 million of the $36.6 million awarded to the Town for Hurricane Sandy damages.
Following the audit, Town officials disputed the claims, stating they believed no money should be recovered based on this deeply flawed report and that the Town followed procedures and were careful custodians of the federal disaster relief funds.
Supervisor Bosworth credits the positive outcome to the assistance of several federal representatives, including U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressman Suozzi, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, all whom helped advocate for the Town’s position.
“I am extremely appreciative of the support the Town received from its federal representatives,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “From the beginning we have strongly believed that FEMA would recognize we followed procedures and were careful custodians of the federal disaster relief funds. Knowing that Senator Schumer, Congressman Suozzi, Congresswoman Rice and Senator Gillibrand had our back was very encouraging throughout this process.”
U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi stated: “I’m thrilled to see that our collective hard work has paid off and that these funds will remain with the people of North Hempstead. I am happy to have helped fight for the Town of North Hempstead, its residents and taxpayers.
In October 2016 Senator Schumer joined with Supervisor Bosworth to call on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to not claw back millions in federal Sandy funds Schumer helped secure for the Town, following the Inspector General report recommending that the funds be disallowed.
“It’s good news that FEMA and the OIG have heeded the call and that already-spent federal funds will not be clawed back from the town," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “The Town of North Hempstead worked in good faith, around the clock, to recover quickly after Superstorm Sandy. Had FEMA approved the Inspector General’s recommendations, local taxpayers would have been on the hook for millions and millions of dollars. Residents in the Town of North Hempstead can now breathe a sigh of relief because FEMA has heard our case loud and clear and made a decision that was in Long Island’s best interest.”