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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 037-91034; Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
DSR ID# DSR 10886; Peter J. Pitchess Honor Rancho Site
October 14, 2008
Governors Authorized Representative
Governors Office of Emergency Services
Response and Recovery Division
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, California 95655
Re: Second AppealLos Angeles County Sheriffs Department, PA ID 037-91034, Peter J. Pitchess Honor Rancho Site
, FEMA-1008-DR-CA, Damage Survey Report 10886
Dear Mr. McCarton:
This letter is in response to your letter dated April 16, 2008, which transmitted the referenced second appeal on behalf of the Los Angeles County (County) Sheriffs Department. The County is appealing the Department of Homeland Securitys Federal Emergency Management Agencys (FEMA) decision not to reinstate $125,265, which FEMA deducted for anticipated insurance proceeds for the Peter J. Pitchess Honor Rancho Site (Pitchess).
FEMA approved Damage Survey Report (DSR) 98160 on September 22, 1999, to fund eligible repairs of Pitchess facilities. FEMA deducted anticipated insurance proceeds from DSR 98160 based on insurance information provided to FEMA in 1996, which reflected 59 buildings at Pitchess insured under a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) policy. Building 800 was the only insured building at the site for which the estimated repair cost ($225,265) exceeded the estimated deductible ($100,000). Accordingly, FEMA deducted $125,265 from DSR 98160 to account for anticipated insurance recovery.
The County states that it later determined that Building 800 was not insured and requested reinstatement of $125,265. To support its claim, the County provided new insurance information to FEMA on December 29, 2004, based on its settlement with JPA. FEMA advised the County, in a letter dated February 18, 2005, that final insurance adjustments would not be made on a facility-by-facility basis, but would be made on a global basis at closeout of the Countys projects. Large Project Closeout DSR 10886 was obligated on August 18, 2006 to reconcile funding of DSR 98160. The $125,265 was not reinstated and insurance issues related to Pitchess were not specifically addressed on DSR 10886. However, DSR 10886 provided that at the close of all projects, a final insurance review will occur and adjustments, if any, will be made.
The County submitted its first appeal on February 8, 2007. In its appeal, the County claimed that documentation provided to FEMA demonstrated that Building 800 was not covered by insurance. The Deputy Regional Administrator denied the appeal in a letter dated
December 6, 2007, stating that the County may have available insurance from various sources and that insurance-related funding adjustments will not occur until FEMA is in receipt of all information necessary to perform a complete insurance review.
The County submitted its second appeal on February 19, 2008. The County maintains that in the chaos following the Northridge Earthquake, Building 800 was erroneously identified as being insured under the JPA policy. The County argues that even if the building had been insured, the total claimed repair cost does not exceed the deductible estimated by FEMA and insurance proceeds would not apply. The County states that withholding a final determination is unreasonable and imposes a financial hardship.
Section 312 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act precludes FEMA from duplicating benefits, including those from insurance. Anticipated insurance proceeds for Pitchess were estimated based on insurance information provided to FEMA by the County two years after the Northridge Earthquake. FEMA understands that the County received, and may continue to receive, multiple insurance recoveries from various sources and for different types of damage. To date, the County has not provided comprehensive insurance records requested by FEMA. The records are necessary for FEMAs completion of the comprehensive insurance review and adjustment of insurance-related funding for County projects.
I have reviewed the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Regional Administrators decision in the first appeal is consistent with Public Assistance regulations and policy. Accordingly, I am denying the second appeal.
Please inform the County of my decision. This determination is the final decision on this matter pursuant to 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX