Ben Carson knew about $31,000 dining set despite statements to the contrary

click to enlarge Ben Carson. - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Ben Carson.

Newly released emails indicate Secretary Ben Carson knew more about a controversial $31,000 furniture set for his Department of Housing and Urban Development office than either he or a spokesman had initially let on.
The emails, obtained by CNN through a Freedom of Information Act request by liberal watchdog group American Oversight, refer to "printouts of the furniture the Secretary and Mrs. Carson picked out." The $31,000 dining set — a little more than the median household income in Carson's native Detroit — would have been in violation of federal law, which requires congressional approval for department head office redecoration expenditures of more than $5,000.
According to the emails, a HUD staffer shared the initial quote of $24,666 for the set to Carson's chief of staff and his executive assistant. While referring to the quote as a "a very reasonable price," the staffer also acknowledged the high price tag, saying, "We also have a justification for the cost (as you know, the furniture hasn't been changed since 1988) so this should not be a problem."

A HUD spokesman initially claimed Carson had no involvement with the purchase. Last month, The Guardian reported a whistle-blower claimed she was demoted and transferred after bringing up the $5,000 redecoration limit.

HUD has since canceled the order.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in Hour Detroit, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged...
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