Earl Ofari Hutchinson
It was only a matter of time before the blatant conflict of interest and profiteering that has dogged more than a few Trump administration appointees would snare HUD Secretary Ben Carson. He oversees an agency that dispenses juicy contracts of every sort for housing subsidies, vouchers, public housing renovation, and maintenance. The temptation to tip some of the gravy to friends, relatives, and, in Carson’s case, family members, namely his son, Ben Carson, Jr. was just to great. The charge put simply is that Carson used his position to bring his businessman son into the HUD mix to arrange a Baltimore tour for him and potential housing contractors and government officials, and assorted other contracting deals with HUD.
Carson was warned that this flaming nepotism was at the very least a gross violation of federal ethics rules on agency heads doling out agency business to associates, and that first and foremost includes family members. Carson is trying to head off the developing scandal by claiming that he requested a review by HUD’s office of Inspector General. Just who is this supposed to fool? This is nothing more than the agency investigating itself. And you can bet Carson’s handprint will be all over the Inspector General to come back with a finding of no wrong-doing on his part.
But the documents made public by the watchdog nonprofit American Oversight, show clearly that Carson is yet another of Trump’s dubious agency heads that ae shamelessly using their position to feather their, or their family’s, nest. Now with the spotlight on Carson’s questionable dealings in HUD, expect more revelations of naked profiteering to be uncovered. That’s all to say, Carson must go.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is an associate editor of New America Media. His latest book is, Fifty Years Later: Why the Murder of Dr. King Still Hurts (Middle Passage Press) will be released in August. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.