The head of the Wilmington Housing Authority, Quattlebaum wrote to FEMA's inspector general after Hurricane Isabel that year, expressing concern that tenants were getting money when the authority knew of no damage to its buildings.
"Since we are the landlord for over 1,400 public housing units, we are concerned that `the system' not be abused and that if our residents did indeed suffer damage, why we are not aware of that damage," he wrote.
Quattlebaum asked for the identities of the tenants who submitted claims, but FEMA denied the request, citing confidentiality rules.
"We could not understand why FEMA did not coordinate with the housing authority to certify or verify these claims,'' Quattlebaum said in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel. "We were told that they [FEMA] had their own procedures and they have independent inspectors that went out and verified -- supposedly verified -- these claims."