Great ResignationDiversity and InclusionCompensationCEO DailyCFO DailyModern Board

HUD Official Resigns From ‘Do-Nothing’ Job Over Ben Carson’s Redecoration Spending

June 27, 2018, 8:08 PM UTC
Republican National Convention: Day Two
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19: Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong — Getty Images

Drain the swamp? Definitely don’t overhaul the office — or at least, that’s what one career official in the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency said in her resignation letter.

Citing a retaliatory demotion and social media chastising, Helen Foster, HUD’s former chief administrative officer, has resigned from her job, according to The Washington Post.

In an open letter to Secretary Ben Carson and HUD Deputy Secretary Pam Patenaude, Foster claims she was demoted to a “do-nothing” job and called a “liar” on social media for expressing concerns about office redecoration expenditures and possible violations of open-records laws. She also wrote that Carson has “grossly mismanaged” more than $10 million in taxpayer dollars.

A HUD spokesperson declined to comment on the allegations. Foster’s claims are under review by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

As previously reported by the Post, Foster has been trying to cap Carson’s spending for some time. In emails from 2017 that were made public by a Freedom of Information Act request, Foster noted she had to repeatedly answer questions about why she would not fund redecoration plans over $5,000. “I do like 3 meetings a day on that. I hate it,” she wrote.

However, such expenditures above the $5,000 threshold require congressional notification. But Foster says her boss was undeterred and told her, “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair,” according to reporting by The Guardian earlier this year.

Carson faces pressure on several fronts. Last month, civil rights groups announced they are suing the Trump Administration for its failure to uphold the Fair Housing Act. Groups named HUD and Carson in the suit.