"Mrs. Carson and the secretary had no awareness that the table was being purchased", a HUD spokesman said last month when news of the dining room set became public. Carson sheepishly explained that the table had been acquired without his knowledge, and although he at first vowed to keep the set, he eventually relented and moved to cancel the order.
The spokesman initially blamed the expensive order on "the career staffers in charge of the building".
A HUD spokesman, who previously spoke to CNN under the condition of anonymity, had said the Carsons did not know which items were being purchased for the office and that Candy Carson had no interest in redecorating.
"I did not request new furniture, but asked if it could be remediated".
Several months after considering repairs to the dining set in early August, HUD's scheduling office reached out to Candy Carson, the secretary's wife.
Carson said he and his wife were told there was a $25,000 budget that must be used by a deadline or it would be lost, and they received a $24,666 quote for the furniture.
Carson's statement earlier this month confirmed he feared the old furniture was "unsafe" and "beyond fix". "We will find another solution for the furniture replacement". "My wife also looked at catalogs and wanted to be sure that the color of the chair fabric of any set that was chosen matched the rest of the decour [sic]".More news: Miley Cyrus Is Being Sued For Allegedly Lifting 'We Can't Stop' Lyrics
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A HUD staffer noted in one email that the cost of the furniture shouldn't be an issue because "the furniture hasn't been changed since 1988".
"I briefly looked at catalogs for dining furniture and was shocked by the cost of the furniture", he wrote.
One email chain shows serving cart options were approved by "leadership" but doesn't specify who made the request. The bill ended up almost $7,000 over that figure, according to CNN.
"Neither of them knew this purchase was being made", the spokesman said at that time.
In a Facebook post last week, the Carsons denied allegations that they were responsible for the purchase of the $31,000 dining set.
"I was as surprised as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered", he continued.
Foster wrote in a February 22 email that she had to answer "endless questions about why I won't fund more than the $5000 limit" for redecorating the office.