The New York Post: Ben Carson says $31,000 dining-room set for HUD office will be canceled

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is canceling an order for a $31,000 dining room set after questions were raised about a pricey redecoration of his Washington, D.C., office, according to a report on Thursday.

“I was as surprised as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered,” Carson said in a statement provided to CNN. “I have requested that the order be canceled. We will find another solution for the furniture replacement.”

Carson, a noted neurosurgeon before heading up HUD, said his wife, Candy Carson, had “asked if used furniture was an option.”

“My wife also looked at catalogs and wanted to be sure that the color of the chair fabric of any set that was chosen matched the rest of the decor,” he said in the statement. “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.”

The dining room set for his personal office at HUD headquarters included a mahogany table, sideboard, breakfront and 10 chairs with a blue velvet finish, CNN reported.

Evelyn Sebree, the owner of Sebree and Associates, the interior design firm that sold the dining room set to HUD, said she worked with agency officials to find something “traditional.”

“They said they were looking for dining furniture for the secretary’s office because a new secretary was coming in and the current furniture was old and it was raggedy,” Sebree told CNN.

The set wasn’t expected to be delivered to HUD until May, when Sebree said she would have been paid.

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, has asked HUD to provide records for the office furnishings since 2017.

And a senior HUD official said she filed a complaint with a government watchdog agency after she was demoted and replaced by a President Trump appointee after she balked at the price of a $5,000 chair for Carson’s office.

Helen Foster, 47, said in the November complaint that she was told “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair.”

This report originally appeared on NYPost.com.