A former top official at FEMA was arrested Tuesday on charges that she took bribes from the former president of one of the agency’s contractors in Puerto Rico tasked with repairing the island’s electrical grid following Hurricane Maria.
The Department of Justice says Ahsha Tribble took gifts from the former president of Cobra Acquisitions, who was also arrested, during her yearlong tenure as the agency’s energy sector lead in Puerto Rico.
Prosecutors say Tribble then used her influence to grant Cobra additional contracts and extra work with the Puerto Rican utility.
The New York Times points out the irony — or perhaps the hypocrisy:
President Trump has repeatedly cast Puerto Rico’s leaders as incompetent and corrupt. Tuesday’s arrests, however, did not involve any Puerto Ricans, but rather a longtime federal employee working on the island under the Trump administration.
The Times notes that Cobra’s contract with FEMA was “virtually identical” to the agency’s contract with Whitefish Energy, the Montana firm whose involvement in Puerto Rico came under widespread public scrutiny for charging high prices for contracted workers.