HUD Secretary Carson's wife weighed in on redecorating effort, new emails show


Austin Evers, American Oversight's executive director, said in a statement that the effort to upgrade Carson's immediate surroundings is at odds with some of his public policy positions, including a quip he made during an interview with the New York Times in May that public housing officials should avoid creating "a comfortable setting that would make somebody want to say: 'I'll just stay here".

Carson's wife weighed in on that purchase as well, according to emails between Rodriguez and colleagues including Greenwood, who now serves as the secretary's chief of staff.

The emails do no indicate that Carson expressed concern about the dining set's cost, or made moves to cancel the order until CNN first broke news about the planned purchase.

In an email dated August 8, 2017, Coressel invited Candy Carson to meet with a designer for ideas on "redecorating the Secretary's office and bringing in new furniture". "My wife also looked at catalogs and wanted to be sure that the color of the chair fabric of any set that was chosen matches the rest of the" decor. Candy Carson was apparently so uninterested in the whole thing that Jacie Coressel was "still waiting" to hear from her a day after her initial email.

The emails show that Carson asked to see photos of previous secretaries' offices, as well as to examine furniture being stored in a basement. "Are you available on any of those dates and would you like to come in and have input on the redecorating?" "We will find another solution for the furniture replacement".

HUD's scheduling office contacted Candy Carson, the secretary's wife, in August to take part in the office redecorating, although the emails don't show a response from her. "The table was ordered by the career staffers in charge of the building".

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"I did not request new furniture, but asked if it could be remediated".

"I briefly looked at catalogs for dining furniture and was shocked by the cost of the furniture", he wrote.

Acknowledging there was a deadline to make a decision on the furniture purchase, Carson said he and his wife "were told there was a $25K budget that had to be used by a certain time or it would be lost".

"I don't think it even crossed her mind, this separate room", he said of the decorating plans. The set included a Newport dining table with a mahogany finish along with upholstered chairs.

That directly contradicts statements department spokesman Raffi Williams previously issued denying Candy Carson knew about the pricey purchase.