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miércoles, 28 de febrero de 2018

Taxpayers spent over $31,000 on a dining set for Ben Carson’s office

Dr. Ben Carson has found himself in the middle of a spending scandal, not of his own doing.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spent an eye-popping $31,561 on a dining set for Dr. Carson’s office, according to The New York Times.

What It Includes

The $31,561 price tag is exorbitant by any measure and the mainstream media has gotten on Dr. Carson’s case for the lavish expenditure, which begs the question, what did he get for all of that cash?

According to the report, the purchase included chairs, a hutch, and a custom hardwood table. This report was written after a HUD employee complained that Dr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, made a push to redecorate the office.

Helen Foster made the complaint, alleging that she was replaced in her position because she did not want to go along with the redecoration plan.

Dr. Carson Had No Idea

A spokesman for HUD said that Dr. Carson “didn’t know the table had been purchased” but that he does not think it is too expensive and has no intention of returning it.

“In general, the secretary does want to be as fiscally prudent as possible with the taxpayers’ money,” the spokesman, Raffi Williams, told The Times.

Federal law says that a department has to get approval from Congress “to furnish or redecorate the office of a department head” if the price is greater than $5,000. But, according to The Times, HUD officials did not seek congressional approval for the purchase of the furniture.

Williams said that the department did not seek approval from Congress because the dining set served a “building-wide need.”

Before Dr. Carson Was In Office

The issue began in in Jan. 2017 when, Foster said, HUD’s interim secretary, Craig Clemmensen, told her to “find money” to redecorate, at the behest of Candy Carson.

Clemmensen quipped to Foster that “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair.” She would not comply with the request and sent Clemmensen the text of the law that requires Congressional approval, she said in her complaint.

Foster was then removed as the department’s chief administrative officer and made the head of the department that oversees Freedom of Information Act requests, which she believed was retaliation.

She “has suffered much humiliation and a loss of reputation, and harm to career advancement, as a result of this retaliatory reassignment,” her attorney, Joseph Kaplan, wrote to the head of the special counsel investigations unit on Nov. 3. Fox News reported that HUD “would not confirm or deny whether it had opened an investigation into Foster’s allegations” on Tuesday.

But this all might be making a mountain of a molehill. We’ll see.