Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Evidence Points to HUD Lying About Ben Carson's $31K Dining Set

Ben Carson Ben Carson
Patty Aguilar | 14 March, 2018, 22:25

New documents made public Wednesday suggest U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was involved with the purchase of the controversial $31,000 furniture set for his office suite, despite claims by an agency spokesman that he was not aware of it.

The 163-page release, obtained by the left-leaning group American Oversight, includes a series of email exchanges over the course of a year ago in which top HUD staffers vet different furniture options and solicit input from Carson's wife Candy, as well as the secretary.

An HUD spokesman denied the couple's involvement in what was seen as an extravagant choice last month, saying they "had no awareness" of the purchase.

"I was as surprised as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered", Carson said in a statement.

"The secretary did not order a new table", said Carson, the HUD secretary.

Foster wrote in a February 22 email that she had to answer "endless questions about why I won't fund more than the $5000 limit" for redecorating the office. "The secretary did not order a new table".

However, an email sent by HUD's director of scheduling, Jacie Coressel, shows that Candy Carson was asked to give her input on the process.

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The emails were first reported by CNN.

Even if she did allegedly do some behind-the-scenes pressuring of Carson staff, Candy Carson is still not letting on about how this table order really came to be.

"I did not request new furniture, but asked if it could be remediated".

Well according to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and reported by CNN, Carson and his wife hand-picked the pricey furniture. "All the furniture in his office was purchased by the government prior to his arrival". The assistant then references "printouts of the furniture the Secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out", in a subsequent email.

Two days later, however, another HUD staffer reports that officials have located used furniture there that will be delivered to both the secretary and deputy secretary's office.

The furniture was quoted as being $24,666, but receipts show the final bill was almost $7,000 more after delivery and installation charges in addition to a small up-charge for the upholstered chairs. Last month, The Guardianreported a whistle-blower claimed she was demoted and transferred after bringing up the $5,000 redecoration limit.

"I believe Allison has print outs of the furniture the Secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out", Rodriguez wrote, referring to Allison Mills, Carson's executive assistant. The secretary knew that the table and chairs were old because somebody fell out of a chair once.

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