DOJ Alleges FEMA Official Took Bribes In Maria Recovery

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A person who was deployed as a FEMA official to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria was arrested Tuesday on charges related to taking bribes to favor a contractor in the island’s recovery.

Federal authorities arrested Ahsha Tribble, who was deployed as a FEMA deputy regional administrator to Puerto Rico to lead power recovery efforts.

Prosecutors accuse Tribble of taking gifts from the president of contracting firm Cobra Acquisition in exchange for pressuring FEMA and the local power authorities to award nearly $2 billion in contracts to the company, according to the indictment announced Tuesday. Together, they were accused of conspiring to defraud the federal government.

The former president of Cobra Acquisitions, Donald Keith Ellison, was also arrested along with a second FEMA employee, Jovanda R. Patterson, who worked as deputy chief of staff under Tribble, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez, the U.S. attorney for Puerto Rico, said.

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