March 1 (UPI) -- After scrutiny about overspending on office decor, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Thursday he wants to cancel an order for a $31,000 dining set.
"I was as surprised as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered," Carson said in a statement to CNN. "I have requested that the order be canceled. We will find another solution for the furniture replacement."
Carson said he and his wife, Candy Carson "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 decor" but that he "was not happy about the prices being charged and that my preference would be to find something more reasonable."
The decision to cancel the order comes after HUD spokesman Raffi Williams said earlier this week that Carson "didn't know the table had been purchased," but didn't think the price was too high and had no intention of returning it, The New York Times reported.
Carson came under criticism for lavish spending on office decorations after former HUD employee Helen Foster said she was demoted when she told her bosses that there was a $5,000 spending limit.
Foster said she was told "$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair," The Guardian reported.
On Wednesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said he launched an investigation into excessive spending on office decorations at HUD.