Following the release of emails uncovered by American Oversight and independent reporting by the Washington Post and CNN, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General has announced that it will be conducting an investigation into the role that Secretary Ben Carson’s family – and in particular his son, Ben Carson Jr. – has been playing at the department.
Despite receiving legal advice that this would raise ethics concerns, Secretary Carson has allowed his family members to have a considerable amount of influence at the department. Emails revealed that Carson’s son used his father’s position to benefit his own company and connect with stakeholders. His daughter-in-law also won a large government contract with another agency, raising further concerns about the degree of access and preferential treatment afforded to the Carson family.
There was also a lack of recordkeeping when it came to Ben Carson Jr’s visits to the agency. American Oversight filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking for records related to instances of Carson Jr. appearing in HUD’s visitor logs. HUD responded that there were no such records; however, the emails that we obtained suggest that records of his visits should exist. We did a deep-dive into the records we did receive from the agency, and our full analysis can be found here.
American Oversight sent a letter this week calling on the HUD Inspector General to investigate these questions of family influence and why there are no substantive records of the comings and goings at Housing and Urban development. See our full investigation of questionable behavior at HUD under Secretary Carson’s leadership here.
The letter to the HUD Inspector General can be found below:
Part of Investigation: