Ben Carson hasn’t generated much news as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and an examination of his schedule shows he hasn’t spent much time on the job.
The retired physician held senior staff meetings once a week, had lunch with the My Pillow founder and the author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” and often left work early on Fridays to fly to his South Florida mansion, reported NBC News.
The network examined Carson’s daily schedule for a 31-week period in 2017 and found the secretary worked a traditional eight- or nine-hour day on about half of the Fridays, but took off five Fridays and left before 2 p.m. on another five Fridays to visit his $4.3 million Florida home.
For the remaining six Fridays, he had no scheduled appointments after 3 p.m.
The HUD’s senior staff met just once a week, according to the schedule, while previously posted schedules from the departments of Transportation, Treasury and Labor showed daily senior team meetings or multiple meetings a week.
The American Oversight watchdog group has been seeking the schedule since November 2017 and eventually sued for the release a year ago, and HUD finally provided three different calendars — with months of appointments out of sequence.
“While I can’t say whether the jumbled calendar was the result of innocent processing system or an effort to obscure information,” said the group’s executive director Austin Evers, “the net result was that this is some of the most challenging transparency we have encountered.”