In August 2017, New York magazine reported that Secretary Carson’s family had a “visible role in the department.”Both his son, Ben Carson, Jr., and his wife, Candy Carson, reportedly have been commonly-seen figures at HUD even though neither is employed there. Moreover, recent reporting revealed that Secretary Carson allowed his son to play a pivotal role in organizing a two-day agency “listening tour” in Baltimore last June, and that Candy Carson and Ben Carson, Jr.’s wife, Merlynn Carson, participated extensively in the Baltimore events. Despite direct warnings from a HUD ethics official that their involvement would raise serious ethical concerns, Secretary Carson permitted his family’s participation. Even more troubling, Secretary Carson’s family appears to have reaped the benefits of using his position to advance their own business interests.
Accordingly, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”) respectfully requests that HUD conduct a formal and full investigation and determine whether Secretary Carson has violated his ethics obligations by knowingly allowing his family to use his public office for private gain.