HUD memos and emails on Ben Carson Jr.'s role in Baltimore event

In this July 6, 2017, memo, a senior Housing and Urban Development lawyer recounts concerns about the role that Secretary Ben Carson's middle son played in helping organize a June 2017 "listening tour" in Baltimore. The emails below, obtained under FOIA by the group American Oversight, chronicle Ben Carson Jr.'s efforts to help organize the event.

o" . - ?66
?b i 5; WASHINGTON. DC 204! 0-0500



July 6, 2017

Memorandum for File a
From: Linda M. Cruciani, uty General Counsel for Operations, CAO
Subject: Ethics Advice for Secretary Carson?s Listening Tour

OGC received several versions ofa list of entities and people with whom the Secretary
planned to visit during a listening tour in Baltimore. OGC checked 0n the entities and people and
provided a summary of legal issues with respect to pending litigation, legal issues, suspensions and


Mason Alexander scheduled a meeting to discuss the Baltimore Listening Tour on June 14,
2017. After the meeting, met with Mason Alexander and Lynne Patton to discuss the Tour. They
raised concerns that some of the people on the list had been invited by the Secretary?s son, Ben
Carson, and daughter-in?law. Lynne stated that Ben Carson, Jr. and his wife had asked for the
following people to be included in the Baltimore Listening Tour: Bob Embry, Abell Foundation;
Kevin Plank, Under Armour; Dan Genesis Rehab Services; the Paterakis Family; Teresa
Carlson, Amazon Web Services; Bart Harvey, former chair of Enterprise, Fannie Mae board
member. and chair of the Calvert Foundation; and Seema Verma, Director of the Centers for
Medicaid Services. Lynne also said that Ben Carson, Jr. and his wife may be doing business with
these entities or may be interested in doing business with these entities. I expressed my concern that
this gave the appearance that the Secretary may be using his position For his son?s private gain.
After discussion, Lynne and Mason suggested pulling these names from the Listening our and
having a private family dinner with invited guests in Baltimore after the of?cial business had
concluded. Mason and Lynne had calendared a brie?ng on the Listening Tour for SOHUD for the
next Monday or Tuesday.

I was unavailable as was at my son?s college orientation. Beth Zorc participated in person
and Sheryl Johnson by phone. I do not know whether any ethics issues were discussed. but Sheryl
later called me and said that she should haVe attended in person and that the details of the pmgram
and events were covered.

On Friday, June 23, I met with Beth Zero and Mason Alexander to discuss Mason?s
continued concerns that Ben Carson, Jr. continued to be involved in the planning for the BaltimOre
Listening Tour and that some of Ben Carson, Jr.?s business associates were going to be on the Tour
as well as Ben Carson, Jr. and his wife. Following that conversation. Mason sent an email and
asked us to participate in a teleconference with Ben Carson, Jr. on Monday morning.

On Monday, June 26, at the beginning of the call around 9:00 reintroduced myself
and Beth introduced herself. I said that I wanted to clarify that when OGC had reviewed and
approved entities and persons for the Listening Tour that this had been research into whether the
entities were involved in litigation with the Department 0r had been suspended or debarred. I said


that OGC did not review the groups for whether they were doing business with Ben Carson, Jr. and
would not have the ability to do this. (I was concerned that Ben Carson, Jr. thought that OGC had
?cleared? all the entities and people on the list.) I reminded him about our discussion in the early
days of his father?s tenure and said that the Secretary could not have the appearance of misusing his
position for a relative?s private gain.

Ben Carson, Jr. stated that his dad had asked him to help with the Baltimore tour. He said
that he had invited associates ?who work with us, but [who] advance HUD initiatives." He said that
he works with almost everyOne who works in Baltimore. He said that his dad wanted to meet Kevin
Plank and he had called Kevin Plank for his dad. He explained that ?norhing we would do would be
near a con?ict" and that ?we don't mix and match parties." He said that his dad wanted him to be in
the room [during the Listening Tour]. Ben Carson, Jr. said that he has three law ?rms and 2600
employees and gets audited on a regular basis. He said ?our goal is for Dad to have a successful
tenure" and that it was ?helpful for us to get the right people in the room" to help build vision
centers. He said that can?t operate in Baltimore without touching on us.? As an example, he
stated that he was on the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital board and gives them money, but does
not get anything in return.

Ben Carson, Jr. emphasized his desire to help his father ask the right questions during the
Listening Teur. Beth Suggested that he provide his father with a list ofquestions in advance. Beth
said that with the extensive list of participants on the tour, participants would not have the
opponunity to Speak far more than six minutes each. Ben Carson, Jr. said that it was important that
he ensure that there was follow-up on what was being said to his father. I explained that I
understood that he might have staffed his father during the campaign in this way, but that the
follow?up from the of?cial meetings would be the responsibility of HUD staff. Ben Carson, Jr- said
that he had not staffed his father during the campaign.

I explained that the govemment-wide ethics regulations are the responsibility of the
employee of the Department and that the issue would be whether his father (SOHUD) would be
misusing his position for his (Ben Carson, Jr.?s gain.) or creating the appearance of the misuse of
position. He asked me to email him the rules at He said that he was
comfortable that ?our businesses are being insulated.? He also said that he didn?t want to create
undue concern for folks at the of?ce and that he would speak to his dad.

Around 2:30, Beth, Mason and I went to discuss the issue with the Secretary. We advised
the Secretary not to include Ben Carson, Jr. in the Listening Tour. I handed SOHUD a copy of the
email that I sent to his son with the government-wide ethics regulations about misuse of position.
The Secretary said that it would be dif?cult to have a Listening Tour in Baltimore without his son?s
involvement as his son was the largest employer in Maryland. I said that I understood his
frustration, but explained that the rule that he avoid any actions that might create the appearance of
violating the law was broad. He went over different components of the tour and we discussed the
ethics issues involved in each setting (Baltimore employee meeting, meetings with HABC and
industries/govemment contractors, and the Health Fair.) We left the meeting believing that the
Secretary would not include Ben Carson, Jr. on any component of the Listening Tour With the
possible exception of the Health Fair.

From: Benjamin Carson

Sent: 17 Jun 2017 13:14:31 +0000

To: Michael?Patton, Lynne

Cc: Carson

Subject: FW: HUD Baltimore Tour

Anita. thank you for connecting us with Mike. we are excited to share details on the HUD tour and look
forward to Exelon/BGE involvement.

Mike it is a pleasure to meet you electronically. I am adding Lynne Patton Special Adviser to the
Secretary who 15 coordinating the tour If you have a couple times that would be convenient for a call
over the next couple days to discuss the tour agenda I am sure that we can accommodate to your

We look forward to speaking with you in the near future.
Warm Regards.

Ben Jr.

Benjamin S. Carson. Jr.
Interprise Partners, LLC
6711 Columbia Gateway Dr
Suite 475

Columbia. MD 21046

From: "mpowell?

Date: Thursday, June 15,2017 at 7:09 PM

To: Benjamin Carson

Subject: Fwd: HUD Baltimore Tour

Mark L. Powell

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Jackson, Anita

Date: June 15, 2017 at 3:29:29 PM EDT

Cc: ?Abboud, Michael "Pellom,

Subject: HUD Baltimore Tour


Good afternoon Mr. Powell - Mr. Butler' IS interested' In participating, provided his
schedule allows -

By way of this email, l?ll'ask you to contact Mike AbboudlCEO Of?ce Principal Business
Analyst when you receive more information. Mike will serve as BGE point person, as it

relates to Mr. Butler?s possible tour participation. Thank you and have a good day, Anita
Jackson -


.rlm'ta. Jae/(sou

Chief ofSto? to

Calvin G. Butler, Jr., Chief Executive O?icer
Baltimore Gas Electric, on Exelon Company
2 Center Plaza, 110 West Fayette Street

14th Floor

Baltimore, MD 212013708


From: Mark Powell?

Datez'June 15, 2017 at 12:49:00 PM EDT

To: "Calvin G. Butler, ?ButlerJr,

Cc: "Benjamin Carson

Subject: HUD Baltimore Tour

Dear Calvin,

ltrust all is well with you. One of my business partners, Ben Carson, Jr.,
asked If I could extend an invitation to you or one of your senior team
members to join Secretary Carson for the official Baltimore HUD Tour as part
of the Secretary? 5 National Listening Tour. The Mayor and Governor will be
participating, as will many of the Baltimore Business .andCommunity leaders
including, Kaiser Permanente, Genesis Healthcare,'Under Armor, Living
Classrooms, and Abell Foundation. The HUD Baltimore. tour is scheduled to
28-29 June and the agenda isjust now solidifying. Sorry for the short notice.

if you would like to participate, I can connect youor a' designee to the point
of contact at HUD to coordinate. Also, Ben has told mevthat a large focus of
the tour will be on infrastructure-and expanding public private partnerships. I
am sure that Exelon/BGE participation would certainly add value to this event.
and all parties would benefit.


From: 'Demarzo, Benjamin

Sent: 26 Jun 2017 20:22:55 +0000

To: Bacon, James A;Coressel, Jacie

Subject: FW: HUD Baltimore Tour- La Cite site overview
Attachments: tour.pdf

This is for the briefing book for the new construction site visit, sending updated over now.

. From: Ian Arias?

Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 3:19 PM
To: Alexander, Mason
Cc: Carson Demarzo, Benjamin

oan Bythewood? Benjamin

Subject: HUD Baltimore Tour- La Cite site overview
Importance: High

Good Afternoon Mason.

Attached is La Cite's site summary. There will be one additional more detailed write-tip that
will be sent later today. Please feel free to call me on my cell at (Wis) with any
questions or Dan on his cell at

Ian G. Arias
646-574-0064 (main)

(W6) (cell)

16% Development. LLC

Alexander, Maso?

Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 1:09 PM

To: Dan avthewooa?; Benjamin casan

lan Arias

CC: Carsor? Demarzo, Benjamin

Subject: RE: HUD Baltimore Tour

Wonderful. Ben and I will call you at 1:30pm today.
Talk to you shortly!
Kindest Regards,





Mason Alexander
Director of Scheduling Operations Office of Administration
US. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HQ

451 7th Street, sw, Suite 10213
Washington, DC 20410

T: {20214025963 IC: (b

From: Dan thhewood

Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 11:04 AM

To: Alexander, Mason? Benjamin Carson?
lan Arias

Cc: Carson Demarzo, Benjamin

Subject: RE: HUD Baltimore Tour

Good Moring Mason,

it is a pleasuremeeting via email and i hope you had a great weekend. All is well on our front, as I hope
all is well with you. i look forward to meeting you in person and having an opportunity to show you
around Center\West.

I am currently in my staff meeting but will be available at 1: O-todav to talk with you and Ben. Please
call me on my direct dial 646-674-0066 or on my cell phone (bil?)

i look forward to talking to you soon.

All the best,

From: Alexander. Mason

Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 10:45 AM

To: Benjamin Carson? Dan Bythewood
Ian Arias

Cc: Carson_ Demarzo, Benjamin

Subject: RE: HUD Baltimore Tour

Good morning, Dan and lan. hope all is well. Ben and i will be reaching out to you to discuss the
details of the visit. Can you please send ?usthe best number to contact you.

Look forward to speaking with you soon!

Kindest Regards,



Mason Alexander
Director of Scheduling: S. Operations I Office
U.S. Department of Housing. and Urban Develoamcnt, H0

Washington, DC 20410

T: (202] 402-5968 IC:

From: Benjamin Carson

Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2017 10:19 AM

To: dmmw? Alexander, Mason

Cc: MerIvnn Carso?

Subject: HUD Baltimore Tour
Dan and Ian.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Mason Alexander. the head of the advance team at HUD.
Mason should be able to provide some details about the tour and logistics. As discussed, we are
hoping to visit Center 1 West toward the end of the day on the 291?. Thank you for working us in.
we are very excited to learn more about the project.

Best Regards,

Ben Jr.

Benjamin S. Carson. Jr.
lnterprise Partners. LLC
671 1 Columbia Gateway Dr
Suite 475

Columbia. MD 21046