Official claims she was replaced for balking at Ben Carson’s pricey office upgrade


A senior administrator at ​the Department of ​Housing and Urban Development​ claims she was demoted and replaced by a President Trump appointee after balking at the purchase of $5,000 chair as part of a pricey upgrading of Secretary Ben Carson’s office, according to a report on Tuesday.

Helen Foster, 47, said in her complaint filed in November that she was told “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair” when she informed her bosses that was the maximum legal limit for improvements to Carson’s suite in Washington, D.C., The Guardian reported.

​The career official said she was also retaliated against for ​highlighting a $10 million shortfall in the budget and for protesting when she was prohibited from handling a pair of sensitive Freedom of Information Act requests about Trump because they believed she was a Democrat.

“This is a long-time public servant who did well at her job, and now her reputation has been ruined,” ​said her lawyer Joseph Kaplan, who filed the complaint to the ​O​ff​i​ce of ​S​pecial ​C​ounsel last November​, the newspaper reported.​

Foster said her job was eventually taken over by Suzanne Israel Tufts, a GOP operative and lawyer from Queens, who Trump appointed last September as assistant secretary of administration.

Foster was moved to head up the agency’s FOIA office.

In her complaint, Foster said she had received “excellent” ratings in annual performance reviews and even got a bonus worth 12 percent of her salary before the incidents.

She declined to comment on the complaint, the newspaper said.

A HUD spokesman said he couldn’t comment on “pending matters of the type.”

The complaint to the OSC, which investigates allegations of improper treatment of government workers, claims HUD violated laws protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.

Foster is seeking a public apology, compensatory damages and restoration to her previous job as chief administrative officer.


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