The Department of Housing and Urban Development spent $31,561 on to spruce up the dining room in Secretary Ben Carson’s office, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The extravagant purchase occurred as President Donald Trump’s White House was circulating plans to cut HUD’s budget for the homeless and elderly.
A senior career official at HUD filed a complaint alleging retaliation after refusing to break the law to renovate Carson’s office. It was reported that the request came from Carson’s wife, Candy.
HUD did not request approval from Congress for the $31,561 expenditure, which purchased a table, chairs and a hutch.
Spokesperson Raffi Williams claimed Secretary Carson was unaware of the purchase, but will not be returning the dining set.
“In general, the secretary does want to be as fiscally prudent as possible with the taxpayers’ money,” Williams added.