Ben Carson Tries to Cancel $31,000 Dining Set Purchase for HUD Office

Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, is attempting to cancel a $31,000 order for a customized hardwood dining room table, chairs, sideboard and hutch the day after the chairman of the House Oversight Committee announced an investigation into the refurbishment of his HUD office.

…[Carson] was sharply criticized for the purchase at a time when his agency is facing $6.8 billion in budget cuts requested by the White House, seemed to change his mind.

…Representative Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who is chairman of the Oversight Committee, sent Mr. Carson’s staff a three-page letter on Wednesday demanding an explanation for the purchase of the dining room set, which might have violated a federal law requiring congressional approval for any office renovation expense exceeding $5,000.

…The department’s own lawyers warned Mr. Carson that the attendance of his son, a Maryland-based entrepreneur seeking to do business with the government, posed a serious potential conflict of interest.

Ben Carson Tries to Cancel $31,000 Dining Set Purchase for HUD Office – The New York Times



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