WASHINGTON (AP) — A Department of Housing and Urban Development employee says she was demoted after she refused to comply with a request from the acting agency head that she “find money” for a costly remodeling of future HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s office. In the same breath, President Trump is circulating plans to cut HUD’s budget for the homeless and elderly.
A HUD document shows the agency spending $31,561 on a dining set.
In response, HUD says only blinds were purchased for Carson’s office and were within a $5,000 limit. The agency says the dining set was considered “a building expense” rather than a decoration and was not ordered by Carson or for his office.
Helen Foster filed the complaint alleging retaliation with the federal agency that handles whistleblower complaints.
Foster also alleges that she was barred from processing two requests for public documents because of her perceived political affiliation.
Spokesperson Raffi Williams claimed Carson wasn’t aware of the dining set purchase but also has no plans to return it.
“In general, the secretary does want to be as fiscally prudent as possible with the taxpayers’ money,” Williams added. Not surprisingly, many had a lot of say about the report.
This story is literally bonkers: Ben Carson spent $31,561(!) in taxpayer money(!) on a table(!) for his office! Even worse, now that it's been revealed he's refusing to return it or pay for it out of his own pocket.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) February 27, 2018
1-This kind of *#!% is exactly why govt can't be trusted with $
2-Why does Ben Carson even have an "executive dining room", let alone a new dining table for it, let alone one that costs more than $30k?! https://t.co/pyUFEtIhDu
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) February 28, 2018
Ben Carson spent over $31,000 on a table. That $31,000 could've funded all the school projects on my @DonorsChoose page & more! Since he's too busy shopping for matching chairs can you help? Some need less than $200 to help kids learn. It's a good feeling! https://t.co/wcaaeVImsd
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) February 28, 2018
Look I know that Ben Carson story is rife with hypocrisy, but I NEED a photo of that $31k dining set. I have to see what a guy who has literal typos carved into his wall at home would buy. pic.twitter.com/3HezPQFpDp
— shauna (@goldengateblond) February 28, 2018