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Washington – Government auditors say Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson violated the law when his department spent more than $40,000 to purchase a dining set and a dishwasher for his office’s executive dining room.

In a report released Thursday, the Government Accountability Office says the agency failed to notify Congress before exceeding a $5,000 limit to furnish or make improvements to a presidential appointee’s office. The dining set cost more than $31,000 and the dishwasher cost nearly $9,000.

Carson told lawmakers last year that he was unaware of the pricey purchase and canceled it as soon as he learned about it in news reports. He also said he left furniture purchasing decisions to his wife.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island says Carson and his staff “showed a willful disregard for the appropriate use” of taxpayer dollars.

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