U.S. Housing in addition to Urban Development Department Secretary Ben Carson, facing fire over an order for a $31,561 executive dining room set for his office suite, has asked which the order be canceled, his spokesman said Thursday.
Carson’s move came as a House committee asked him for documents related to redecorating his office in addition to about a former top HUD official who has complained she was demoted for pushing back on a request to help Carson’s wife, Candy, obtain department money to redecorate his office at a cost above a $5,000 maximum legal cap.
in addition to which comes as President Donald Trump has called for a cut of almost $7 billion to HUD’s budget. HUD provides housing to more than 4 million low-income Americans.
The complaint by former chief administrative officer Helen Foster about being pressured to help Candy Carson spend more than legally allowed on her husband’s office was first reported Tuesday morning.
Hours later, news broke which HUD staffers had ordered the pricey dining room set to replace an old table in addition to chairs inside executive dining room in Carson’s suite.
The dining room, which will be close to Carson’s office, will be used for events which include meals with visiting dignitaries.
HUD said Carson played no role in requesting which completely new set of furniture, which was ordered in December in addition to has yet to be delivered.
CNN reported which the set includes a table, sideboard in addition to breakfront, all made out of mahogany, as well as 10 mahogany chairs which have a blue velvet finish. The table in addition to base pedestals for which alone costs $4,000.
On Wednesday night, House Oversight in addition to Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy’s office said he had sent a letter to Carson “regarding allegations of excessive spending on the redecoration of the Secretary’s office in addition to retaliation against HUD employee in addition to whistleblower Helen Foster.”
Gowdy asked Carson for documents relating to Foster’s transfer out of her role, information about the redecorating in addition to furnishing of Carson’s office inside past year, in addition to all documents relating to such costs for the HUD secretary’s office via 1998 through 2016.
Carson has only been HUD secretary since early 2017.
Gowdy’s request for spending on furnishing the offices of Carson’s predecessors as secretary suggest Gowdy wants to compare Carson’s spending with theirs.
On Thursday, after Gowdy’s letter was sent, Carson’s spokesman Raffi Williams said, ” At the request of the Secretary, the agency will be working to rescind the order for the dining room set.”
Williams has declined to comment on allegations in Foster’s complaint which she was repeatedly told in early 2017 to “find money” for Carson’s wife to purchase furniture for his office as he prepared to take over the agency.
Acting HUD Secretary Craig Clemmensen in January 2017 allegedly told Foster which the “Administration has always found money with which inside past,” in addition to which “$5000 will not even buy a decent chair,” according to Foster’s complaint, filed in November by her lawyer Joseph Kaplan.
HUD has said which the actual spending done for Carson’s office was only $3,400 for a completely new set of blinds, in addition to which Carson had visited the agency’s basement to select furniture which HUD already owned to outfit his office.