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Stephanie Petit 20 hrs ago

Ben Carson Reportedly Has a $31K Dining Set in His Office
A Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official claims she was demoted after failing to “find money” beyond a $5,000 cap to redecorate the dining room in incoming Secretary Ben Carson’s office.
Helen Foster was told “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair” after pointing out the legal spending limit for decorating the office, CNN reports, citing a November 2017 complaint. The former senior official said she was told about the redecorating initiative by Acting Secretary Craig Clemmensen, who said Carson’s wife Candy wanted the office upgraded. This occurred ahead of Carson’s appointment to the position.
Foster also claims she was demoted in retaliation, and reassigned to oversee privacy and Freedom of Information Act requests.
“I was put into a job that was made up, something in the federal government we call the ‘rubber room,’ and then I protested and asked to be put on detail until I could find another job,” she told CNN.

The department later spent over $31,000 on a new hardwood table, chairs and hutch for the dining room adjacent to Carson’s office. The furniture has reportedly not yet been delivered. A department official says they replaced the original set because it was in disrepair.
The former esteemed brain surgeon “didn’t know the table had been purchased” but has no plans to return it, HUD spokesman Raffi Williams told The New York Times.
ABC News also reported that HUD, whose responsibilities include providing affordable housing to more than 4.3 million low-income families, spent $1,100 trying to repair the chairs in the dining set before buying the new furniture. They also spent about $3,400 on new blinds for the office.
“The most frustrating part of all this was spending so much time on this issue,” a former HUD employee with knowledge of the situation told CNN. “Instead of focusing on HUD’s mission, we were talking about furniture for the Secretary’s office.”

The White House’s 2019 budget proposes to slash HUD’s budget by $8.8 billion. In a tweet earlier this month, Carson said, “The proposed budget is focused on moving more people toward self-sufficiency through reforming rental assistance programs and moving aging public housing to more sustainable platforms.

It’s worth mentioning that EPA manager Scott Pruitt is spending $139,000 for new doors, Secretary Ryan Zinke has a” special” flag raising ceremony when he is in or out of the office aside from his tax payer financed charter flights. How many other “perks” are being accessed on the public dime by this administration aside from the “Resident’s” trips to Mar-a-Lago? MA.

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