Former HUD Official Says She Was Dismissed Over Expensive Decor in Ben Carson’s Office
Helen Foster, a senior career official at HUD, alleges that she was demoted and replaced with a Donald Trump appointee after refusing to break the law by funding an expensive redecoration of Secretary Dr. Ben Carson’s office. The 47-year-old Georgetown Law School graduate says she was told: “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair” after informing her bosses that was the legal price limit for improvements to the HUD Secretary’s suite at the agency. She says the directives were coming from Carson's wife, Candy. The NYT reported on Tuesday that HUD officials spent $31,000 on a new dining room set for Carson’s office in late 2017. The news comes as Foster claims that she faced retaliation for exposing a $10M budget shortfall, and for protesting when she was barred from handling a pair of sensitive Freedom of Information Act requests relating to Trump, apparently because she was perceived to be a Democrat. The complaint letter, obtained by The Guardian, alleges that HUD violated laws protecting whistleblowers from reprisals. Foster is seeking a public apology, compensatory damages, and reinstatement as HUD’s Chief Administrative Officer. More here.