Ben Carson accused of excessive office redecorating

A former HUD employee said she was demoted after refusing to spend taxpayer money on redecorating Secretary Ben Carson’s office and buying a security system for Carson’s home. (Source: CNN/Pool)

(CNN) – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is under fire from a whistleblower.

Helen Foster, a former HUD chief administrative officer, sent a sworn complaint to independent investigators.

She said department officials tried to pressure her into spending more than the $5,000 limit to redecorate Carson’s office. Foster also said she was pressured to approve the purchase of a security system for Carson’s Virginia home with taxpayer money.

Foster said she rejected both requests and was later demoted.

The department said redecorating expenses were within legal spending limits.

HUD officials said the home security system purchase was justified to protect Carson, although he ended up paying for it himself.

Foster said she was demoted just four months after receiving stellar performance reviews, and was never given a substantive reason for her demotion.

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