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HUD's cancellation of $31,000 dining furniture order confirmed

The pricey furniture order for Secretary Ben Carson's private dining room at the Department of Housing and Urban Deve...

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 9:54 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2018 9:54 AM

The pricey furniture order for Secretary Ben Carson's private dining room at the Department of Housing and Urban Development "has officially been canceled," the owner of the company that made the sale confirmed to CNN.

Evelyn Sebree, of the interior design firm Sebree and Associates, told CNN on Thursday evening that the company had waived the restocking fee for HUD, so none of the agency's funds will be used for the order.

Earlier this week, a HUD employee claimed she had been demoted in part over her refusal to spend more than she was legally allowed to redecorate Carson's office.

In a November 2017 complaint, Helen Foster said she had been told to "find money" beyond the legal $5,000 limit for redecorating. In one instance, she said, a supervisor said that "$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair."

HUD also ordered a $31,000 dining room set for Carson's office, according to federal records and a whistleblower.

The furniture included a table, sideboard, breakfront -- all in mahogany -- and 10 mahogany chairs with a blue velvet finish, according to Sebree and Associates and purchase documents obtained by CNN.

HUD ordered the dining set in December and it was set for delivery in May.

On Thursday, CNN first reported a statement provided by a Carson adviser that said the secretary was requesting that the order for the dining set be canceled.

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

Carson also said that his wife, Candy Carson, had "asked if used furniture was an option," the first time there's been an indication that she had been involved in the process. "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 wrote.

"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," he added.

Carson said he did not know the cost of the set when it was ordered.

In his statement, Carson said "the furniture is 30 to 50 years old" and added that it was "unsafe."

At the White House on Thursday, press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the agency was "looking for another option that is much more responsible with taxpayer dollars."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 577463

Reported Deaths: 11510
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson841981589
Mobile47171860
Madison37047533
Tuscaloosa26915465
Shelby26873256
Montgomery25918625
Baldwin24499328
Lee16949181
Calhoun15252332
Morgan15017290
Etowah14778370
Marshall12933235
Houston11774292
Elmore10761217
St. Clair10617252
Limestone10574158
Cullman10363205
Lauderdale10083254
DeKalb9382191
Talladega8836188
Walker7681287
Autauga7479114
Jackson7317117
Blount7266139
Colbert6635142
Coffee6163132
Dale5453117
Russell470642
Chilton4682117
Covington4649125
Franklin450081
Tallapoosa4440156
Escambia427882
Chambers3898125
Dallas3717163
Clarke367763
Marion3427106
Pike327879
Lawrence3225101
Winston294973
Bibb284565
Geneva276383
Marengo259967
Barbour246261
Pickens240062
Butler238272
Hale232778
Fayette225264
Henry209245
Monroe197241
Randolph196744
Cherokee196348
Washington180139
Macon168752
Crenshaw165558
Clay163759
Cleburne160245
Lamar149938
Lowndes144854
Wilcox130531
Bullock126142
Conecuh119630
Coosa116929
Perry109928
Sumter109032
Greene98736
Choctaw64325
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Columbus
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Very hot and very humid conditions linger in our area for our Saturday. However, the heat and humidity start to dwindle a bit as we go into our Sunday and beyond. As a matter of fact below normal high temperatures for this time of year.
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