Two FEMA Workers Charged With Taking Bribes

Two employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been indicted on federal charges accusing them of soliciting kickbacks from a food contractor.

Andrew Rose and Loyd Hollman were charged by a grand jury Thursday with soliciting and receiving bribes in their official capacity as managers of a camp housing disaster relief workers.

Rose and Hollman have been identified by their attorneys as Colorado firefighters who came to New Orleans to help with search-and rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina.

The charge carries up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Rose's attorney, Vinny Mosca, said the two men were not affiliated with FEMA until after they were turned away as rescue workers. They ended up signing up with FEMA after they were told they could make about $23 an hour managing the camp, he said.

According to prosecutors, the two allegedly approached the unnamed local contractor and solicited a bribe in exchange for inflating the head count for a $1 million meal service contract at the Algiers base camp. The contractor reported the offer to the FBI.

Rose allegedly met with the contractor on Jan. 18 and demanded he pay $20,000 to be split evenly between him and Hollman, and pledged that Hollman would inflate the number of occupants at the base camp, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said.

The two were arrested Jan. 27 at the camp after receiving two envelopes containing $10,000 apiece, prosecutors said.

Mosca declined comment on the charge.