Carson, a retired and celebrated neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, has faced increased scrutiny for the $31,000 dining room set - ordered at a time when the agency was contemplating deep cuts to housing programs. Another email shows a HUD staffer writing Carson's wife, Candy Carson, to ask if she was available to meet with a designer about "bringing in new furniture".
But according to unearthed emails, the Housing Secretary and his wife hand-"picked" the expensive furniture themselves! Williams, who initially denied that the furniture order existed, also insisted that Carson had no involvement.
An email from Carson's assistant was sent in August with the subject line: "Secretary's Dining Room Furniture Needed". "We will find another solution for the furniture replacement".
Spokesperson Raffi Williams claimed Secretary Carson was unaware of the purchase, but will not be returning the dining set.
Foster wrote in a February 22 email that she had to answer "endless questions about why I won't fund more than the $5000 limit" for redecorating the office.
However, an email sent by HUD's director of scheduling, Jacie Coressel, shows that Candy Carson was asked to give her input on the process. "The secretary did not order a new table".
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Well according to emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and reported by CNN, Carson and his wife hand-picked the pricey furniture. The company confirmed a few days after CNN reported the purchase that the agency officially canceled the order on March 1. "I made it known that I was not happy about the prices being charged and that my preference would be to find something more reasonable".
Foster has alleged in a complaint to a whistleblower agency that she was demoted and replaced with a Donald Trump appointee after refusing to break the law by breaking a $5,000 spending cap for improvements to Carson's office.
A HUD staffer noted in one email that the cost of the furniture shouldn't be an issue because "the furniture hasn't been changed since 1988".
The newly published emails show she told fellow staffers about this concern.
The furniture hunt did not end in February, however: an aging conference table and its accompanying chairs used for Carson's private lunches with guests proved so problematic that his deputies made a decision to order a replacement at the cost of $31,561.
Carson said he and his wife were told there was a $25,000 budget that must be used by a deadline or it would be lost, and they received a $24,666 quote for the furniture.