Florida emergency chief in FEMA hunt

Feb. 12, 2009 at 4:14 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Florida's emergency chief, Craig Fugate, said he spoke with U.S. officials but wasn't asked specifically about heading the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fugate said he spoke with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last week in Washington, but wasn't asked about the FEMA post, the Tallahassee Democrat reported Thursday. He said he only knew he was being considered for a high-level job.

"I'd definitely be interested in it, but I haven't been offered it, so we'll have to wait and see," Fugate said.

Fugate, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said he first learned he was being considered for the spot from a news report this week.

"Quite frankly, there's this tendency where you think too much about the future and you forget your primary job and you make a mistake, and I can't do that," he said. "I have a job, I have a great boss, I have a team that is outstanding. Right now, I work for Florida, I work for Gov. (Charlie) Crist. That's my primary focus."

The Obama administration reportedly also was considering Iowa's former emergency manager, Ellen Gordon, for FEMA chief. The White House would not confirm the report.

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