HUD Secretary Ben Carson has the important task of overseeing the governmental department that lords over America’s housing needs, including those that involve those in public housing. Once critical of those who benefit from the government’s aid in saying they’re too comfortable, the former brain surgeon once spent $31,000 on office digs.
From the New York Times:
Department of Housing and Urban Development officials spent $31,000 on a new dining room set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office in late 2017 — just as the White House circulated its plans to slash HUD’s programs for the homeless, elderly and poor, according to federal procurement records.
The purchase of the custom hardwood table, chairs and hutch came a month after a top agency staff member filed a whistle-blower complaint charging Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, with pressuring department officials to find money for the expensive redecoration of his offices, even if it meant circumventing the law.
Mr. Carson is also facing questions on another front. Under pressure earlier this month, he requested that HUD’s inspector general investigate his son’s involvement in a department-sponsored listening tour of Baltimore last summer. Department lawyers had warned Mr. Carson that including Ben Carson Jr., an entrepreneur who does business with the federal government, could create a conflict of interest.
The outlet adds that Carson didn’t know about the purchase of the furniture but a HUD spokesperson says the stuff stays. Adding to this wasteful expense of taxpayer dollars, HUD did not seek the approval of Congress to purchase the items, which it must do if items exceed $5,000.