Politics: Carson cleared as HUD inspector general finds no evidence of misconduct in furniture controversy - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsCarson cleared as HUD inspector general finds no evidence of misconduct in furniture controversy

19:50  12 september  2019
19:50  12 september  2019 Source:   foxnews.com

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The inspector general for the Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a newly released report that investigators found no evidence of misconduct by Secretary Ben Carson concerning a controversial order for expensive furniture in late 2017.

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The watchdog released the report Thursday, after more than a year investigating whether Carson and his wife improperly tried to purchase a $31,561 dining set for his office as part of a costly makeover.

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson . The Inspectors page allows users to search for inspectors by location, ID, name, or status. The search can be configured to find specific inspectors through the use of the pull-down menus and entry fields.

Q: Did Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson find over 0 billion in accounting errors while auditing HUD ’s financial statements? The report said: “While the errors identified may not have changed HUD ’s financial position, as HUD states at the bottom of its financial statements, ‘The

The inspector general found that Carson left the matter of purchasing furniture to members of his staff to handle, “in consultation with his wife, who provided stylistic input after the Department decided to purchase new furniture.”

“We found no evidence indicating that either Secretary or Mrs. Carson exerted improper influence on any departmental employee in connection with the procurement,” the report stated. “We did not find sufficient evidence to substantiate allegations of misconduct on the part of Secretary Carson in connection with this procurement.”

The inspector general found that HUD staff initiated a process in mid-2017 to replace the dining room furniture in Carson’s suite. HUD officials obligated $31,561 in departmental funds on Dec. 21, 2017 for the purchase of new dining room furniture, but “did not make required notification” to the House and Senate's appropriations committees before doing so.

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An audit of Housing and Urban Development 's books was carried out by the Office of the Inspector General and found an aggregate of billions in In one of his first acts as HUD Secretary, Carson ordered an audit of the agency. What he found was staggering: 0 billion in bookkeeping errors.

HUD, though, ultimately did not get the furniture. The order was canceled on March 1, 2018 at the direction of Carson, in response to media reports.

The inspector general wrote that they “are not making any recommendations to the Department as a result of the evidence gathered in this investigation because we found no evidence of misconduct and because the Department is working to address the legal ramifications of the dining-room furniture procurement and to prevent future appropriations-law violations.”

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The investigation began last year after HUD’s former chief administrative officer Helen Foster complained that she was retaliated against for objecting to the cost of the dining room set, saying it was beyond the $5,000 statutory maximum for office updates.

Foster said she was demoted for refusing to bankroll the remodeling and claimed it was requested by Carson’s wife amid an environment where top officials told her to skirt the rules. Foster said she was told the department “has always found money for this in the past” and that “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair.”

The department said in response to that report that Carson decorated his office mainly with furniture from the agency’s basement and did not ask for a new dining set. Instead, HUD blamed it on “career staffers.”

The department also denied retaliation, saying that Foster is still a HUD employee and that it is customary for staffers to be rotated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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