Ben Carson to Leave HUD Next Year
HUD Secretary Ben Carson on Monday said that he plans to step down from his post and return to the private sector next year -- even if Donald Trump should win a second term. “I would be interested in returning to the private sector because I think you have just as much influence — maybe more — there,” Carson told the conservative Newsmax TV during an interview. During his tenure at HUD, the retired neurosurgeon has dialed back civil rights enforcement and suspended Obama-era rules aimed at fighting housing segregation and discrimination. Like many of Trump’s Cabinet Secretaries, Carson has drawn ethics concerns and criticism. He allowed his son to help organize an agency “listening tour” despite warnings from a HUD lawyer that it could violate federal ethics rules. Ben Carson Jr. then invited people with whom they potentially had business dealings. Carson also came under congressional scrutiny after reports surfaced that he had spent $31,000 in taxpayer funds on a dining set for his government office -- for which he blamed his wife Candy. He also awarded promotions and pay increases to five political operatives without housing policy experience within their first months on the job. On the policy side, WaPo writes that Carson’s signature EnVision Centers initiative has gone nowhere, having failed to attract much financial support from either the White House or private foundations. More here.