A FEMA spokesperson tells the Rachel Maddow Show:
On May 14, 2019, Dr. Tribble was placed in a non-duty status as an employee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While we defer to the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General on specific questions regarding the recent indictment, employees in that status may not conduct official business on behalf of FEMA – to include, no official access to FEMA facilities, systems, or records.
Dr. Ahsha Tribble, Deputy Regional Administrator for FEMA Region II, was deployed to Puerto Rico in support of response and recovery to Hurricane Maria beginning October 1, 2017 and was demobilized back to FEMA Region II on September 15, 2018.
The last version of the Puerto Rico Recovery Office organizational chart, with Dr. Tribble listed, in her deployment capacity as the head of the Infrastructure Directorate, is dated August 31, 2018. As previously indicated, she left Puerto Rico sixteen days later on September 15, 2018.
The next version of the Puerto Rico Recovery Office organizational chart is dated October 25, 2018 and has Dr. Tribble listed with her official title as the Deputy Regional Administrator of FEMA Region II.
FEMA Region II headquarters is located in New York, NY and is the FEMA regional office responsible for serving the states of New Jersey, New York, as well as the Caribbean Area Division which encompasses both the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Caribbean Area Division, Puerto Rico Recovery Office organizational chart in question is dated April 12, 2019 and lists Dr. Tribble as the Deputy Regional Administrator of FEMA Region II. On this organizational chart, there is dotted line to Mr. Jeff Byard, Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA HQ. The dotted line on this organizational chart represents a coordinating relationship between the Office of the Regional Administrator for FEMA Region II and the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA HQ. As the Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA, Mr. Byard provides strategic direction regarding national response and recovery policy; however, he does not have direct involvement or daily oversight of any ongoing recovery efforts across the country.
Per the official FEMA organizational chart on FEMA.gov, the Deputy Regional Administrator for FEMA Region II, Dr. Tribble officially reports to the Regional Administrator for FEMA Region II, who directly reports to the Office of the Administrator at FEMA.
Re: COBRA Contract – Under the Stafford Act, FEMA’s responsibility is to reimburse applicants for eligible work associated with damages from a Presidentially declared major disaster. FEMA has no selection or oversight role in third-party contractual relationships entered into by applicants; instead, it is the applicants’ responsibility to ensure eligible work is contracted and completed in accordance with applicable territory and federal regulations to be eligible for reimbursement by FEMA. In this case, FEMA has reviewed and reimbursed PREPA for eligible work they contracted with COBRA Energy to complete following Hurricane Maria.