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Ben Carson must go

Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, visits Baltimore Friday for tour of an addiction recovery facility as part of President Trump's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun video)

Yes, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and the $31,561 dining table are small potatoes in the Donald Trump swamp stew (“Ben Carson and the Trump lifestyle,” Feb. 28). Dr. Carson is just one example of "the incompetence, erratic behavior and frequent lies" of this president and his minions. But the Furniture Fiasco is just the latest of Secretary Carson's actions taken to enrich himself and his family. Don't forget the no-bid half-million dollar contract awarded to his daughter-in-law (“Ben Carson was cautioned son’s involvement at HUD created appearance of conflict, report says,” Jan. 31).

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), administrator of Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Health Insurance Marketplace, and with a budget of $1 trillion (yes, trillion), awarded a $485,000 no-bid contract to consulting company Myriddian, whose chief executive is Secretary Carson's daughter-in-law, Merlynn Carson. Her husband, Ben Carson Jr., identifies himself online as one of Myriddian’s board members. The contract was awarded without a competitive bidding process, federal records show, "although a CMS spokesman said multiple minority-owned firms were considered." The spokesman said the contract was for career-development services for the agency’s large contracting staff.

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Give me a break! These outrages, the constant presence of the secretary's family (to manage him as well as to enrich themselves), the ludicrous Carson statement that his son is Maryland's largest employer (made in conjunction with the 'listening tour' organized by his son and already being investigated for ethics violations) — what more proof is needed? The fact is that Ben Carson has disqualified himself for this important position. Let the $31,561 dining table be the last straw. Ben Carson must go!

Peta N. Richkus, Towson

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