*A scandal is reportedly brewing around HUD Secretary Ben Carson amid reports he allowed his son, Ben Carson Jr., to help organize an agency “listening tour” in Baltimore last summer despite strong warnings from agency lawyers that it might run afoul of federal ethics rules, per vox.com.
The outlet broke down Carson’s family ethics drama, and noted a two-page memo written on July 6, 2017, and published by the Post this week that raised concerns about the project, warning that it “gave the appearance that the Secretary may be using his position for his son’s private gain.”
Carson on Friday said that he and his family were “under attack by the media questioning our integrity and ethics,” after reports shed light on the extensive involvement that his family members played in official business
“This week, my family and I have been under attack by the media questioning our integrity and ethics. I have openly asked for an independent investigation to rest these unfounded biases,” Carson said in a statement posted to his social media accounts.
In a statement on Thursday, Carson asked his agency’s inspector general to look into his listening tour. “In my role as HUD secretary, I try to be as inclusive as possible and talk with a wide variety of people because when it comes to increasing access to affordable housing, no rock should remain unturned,” he said.
“From my very first day at HUD I have insisted that HUD operate in an open and ethical manner, in every way. To clear up any suspicion I am calling for the HUD Inspector General to review this matter.”
The department’s Office of Inspector General said in a statement that it “has received the request from the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and we are reviewing the matter.”
The extensive role that Carson Jr. played in organizing the Baltimore trip was detailed in a Washington Post report. It shows that “the influence of Carson Jr. and his wife Merlynn goes far beyond orchestrating his father’s Baltimore tour.”
HUD spokesman Jereon Brown told the Post that Carson Jr.’s role wasn’t limited to the Baltimore event but didn’t explain where else he was involved.