Skip to comments.BREAKING - Feds make arrests over Puerto Rico disaster recovery funds
Posted on 09/10/2019 8:15:12 AM PDT by cll
FEMA Regional Director Asha Tribble, Cobra Acquisitions President Donald Keith Ellison, and former FEMA staffer and then Cobra employee Jovanda Patterson arrested in the mainland U.S. for fraud and bribery related to the reconstruction of the Puerto Rico electrical grid after Hurricane Maria.
Basically, the FEMA and former FEMA officials accepting or offering bribes for favoritism in the awarding of reconstruction contracts.
No Puerto Rican officials appear to be involved.
Ongoing press conference. Developing...
This is total BS - they're up to their eyeballs in corruption.
So they didn’t get that Bitch Mayor of San Juan?
Not in this particular scheme, according to the feds.
Dr. Ahsha Tribble has been named the Deputy Regional Administrator for FEMA Region II, with oversight for the operational aspects of regional disaster response and recovery, mitigation and preparedness in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
From September 2017 September 2018, Dr. Tribble was deployed Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria as the Power Sector Chief for Response and the Infrastructure Chief for Recovery.
Previously, Dr. Tribble served as the Deputy Regional Administrator for the FEMA Region IX Office which covered California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Before joining FEMA, Dr. Tribble served as the Senior Advisor to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Moniz and was focused on identifying, strengthening, and integrating DOE capabilities for emergency preparedness and response, security, and resilience, as it related to DOE facilities and assets across the nations energy infrastructure.
Prior to her tenure at DOE, Dr. Tribble served more than three years on the White House National Security Council (NSC) Staff, including interim service as Deputy Homeland Security Advisor; Senior Director for Response; and Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience. She led or supported White House response coordination and operational policy for major disasters including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene; the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster; major flooding on the Mississippi River and in Colorado; numerous tornados; and the deadly West Texas chemical plant explosion. She has traveled with President Obama and Vice President Biden to disaster areas to provide technical support on Federal response activities. Dr. Tribble also led the development Presidential policies for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, National Special Security Events, and Chemical Facilities Safety and Security.
Prior to joining NSC, Dr. Tribble spent ten years in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As Senior Policy Advisor for Weather and Climate, she oversaw scientific, operational and policy matters related to domestic and international climate services and the provision of weather services. She led the national coordination and planning for hurricane forecast operations for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and conducted routine White House briefings on weather emergencies. Dr. Tribble worked at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and served as Technical Chief of Staff and Senior Science Advisor to the Deputy NOAA Administrator. She represented the U.S. at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties throughout the Bush Administration.
She received a B.S. in Math from Florida A&M University, an M.S. in Meteorology from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.
10/29/2018 - 16:16
“FEMA Regional Director Asha Tribble, “
Photo not needed.
Puerto Rico is Spanish for “Corruption!”
I wouldn’t hold my breath.
This is a specific scheme unrelated to the municipality of San Juan.
Were these political appointees?...................
Ahsha Tribble, who oversaw the repair of Puerto Ricos power grid, was placed on leave by FEMA amid an Inspector General probe into utility contracting May 24, 2019
“She has traveled with President Obama and Vice President Biden to disaster areas to provide technical support on Federal response activities. “
Birds of a feather...
The accused are all from the lower 48. Not Puerto Rico.
FEMA career employees, apparently.
FEMA Deputy Regional Administrator Ahsha Tribble said the islands bureaucracy and the power companys inability to pay for supplies it ordered after Hurricane Maria slowed efforts to restore electricity. Nearly half a million power customers remain in the dark more than four months after the Category 4 storm, which destroyed two-thirds of the power distribution system, killed dozens of people and caused up to an estimated $94 billion in damage.
Tribble said it was extremely difficult to work with Puerto Ricos Electric Power Authority immediately after the storm to figure out what it needed to rebuild the system. She also said the companys financial constraints led to a lack of trust among FEMA suppliers and that appointing an interim power company director in the middle of the disaster led to challenges with leadership. In addition, communication was strained, she said.
In an emergency, when you have eight layers of approval to get something done, its not working for us, she said. You put all that together, and its a recipe for disaster.
Apparently they have Trouble with Tribble....................
Files to Stay Sealed in Hurricane Maria Corruption Probe
NICHOLAS IOVINO, July 9, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) Records used to justify seizing more than $4.5 million in assets from a man suspected of bribery and fraud in a $1.8 billion Hurricane Maria recovery project will likely stay sealed for now, a federal judge said in court Tuesday.
Its hard for me to take a position until Ive seen the affidavit, but I dont have a right to see it, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar said.
Donald Keith Ellison, former president of Cobra Acquisitions Energy, asked Tigar to make the government hand over records used to authorize the seizure of $4.4 million in cash and securities from his Charles Schwab account along with his boat, pickup truck and farm equipment.
Cobra secured $1.8 billion in contracts to rebuild Puerto Ricos power grid after Hurricane Maria caused massive destruction and widespread power outages in September 2017. Cobra is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mammoth Energy Services based in Oklahoma City.
The contracts were awarded by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the islands state-owned electric provider, with grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In April, a federal magistrate judge in Puerto Rico authorized the government to seize $1 million from Ellisons bank account. A different judge later granted a request to seize another $3.4 million in cash and investments.
Ellisons lawyer argued in court Tuesday that the government is depriving his client of due process and the means to support his family by indefinitely holding the assets while it conducts a slow-moving investigation.
The only way that we have to invoke our due process rights is to see the underlying affidavit, said Ellisons lawyer, William Bill Leone of Norton Rose Fulbright in New York.
The government said the seizure was based on a finding of probable cause that Ellison committed major fraud against the government, bribed a public official and engaged in a conspiracy.
In a sworn declaration, an FBI agent stated FEMA officials should not be in direct contact with or advising contractors that vie for government-funded projects.
Leone said the case is really about a close friendship that developed between Ellison and Ahsha Tribble, a FEMA deputy regional administrator who was sent to Puerto Rico to oversee power grid reconstruction after Hurricane Maria. Tribble is under investigation on allegations she diverted contracts to Cobra and was placed on administrative leave in May, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Leone said he interviewed witnesses and conducted his own investigation, which found several allegations involving Ellison are based on hearsay, including a false story about Ellison giving a Tribble a helicopter ride to a casino.
There was no helicopter ride, Leone said. This was just gossip.
If the affidavits are unsealed, Leone predicted they would be full of rumors and second-hand accounts.
Leone, who served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado from 2004 to 2006, said he would be stunned if the sealed affidavit contains any actual evidence of wrongdoing by his client.
If thats in this affidavit, then I will eat my hat, he said.
Tigar told Leone he lacks authority to unseal those files because the warrant was issued in the District of Puerto Rico.
It was issued in a different district by a different judge, Tigar said. I believe that judge has power that I dont have.
Ellison served as president of Cobra from January 2017 until June 7, 2019. In a sworn declaration, Ellison said the seizure of his assets has prevented him from paying child support and supporting his family. He also argues $250,000 was deposited in his account before he did any business in Puerto Rico, and that much of his initial $300,000 annual salary, which was later increased to $600,000 in 2018, was earned before Hurricane Maria.
He filed a motion to return his property in the Northern District of California on June 12. The case was filed in San Francisco because thats where Charles Schwab & Co., where Ellisons assets were held, is based.
The Department of Justice asked Tigar to transfer the case to Puerto Rico.
Tigar said he intends to issue a ruling by the end of this week.
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