The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spent $31,000 late last year on a new dining room set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The purchase included a custom hardwood table, chairs and a hutch. Officials bought the furniture a short time after a HUD staff member filed a complaint that Carson’s wife, Candy, pushed to redecorate the department’s offices.
Helen Foster, who filed the whistleblower complaint, claimed she was replaced in her role because she refused to fund a redecoration of Carson’s office. She alleged in the complaint that she was told to “find money” for the redecoration, despite it exceeding budgetary limits.
Federal law requires approval from lawmakers “to furnish or redecorate the office of a department head” if it exceeds $5,000. HUD officials reportedly did not request congressional approval for the purchase.
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