Things seem to be going well at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)...
In January, it was reported that under Richard Cordray's leadership, taxpayer-funded renovations for the new headquarters in D.C. were "significantly above the original budget." Now, it seems that $124 million couldn't even buy them a rat-free office space.
Hundreds of the agency’s employees moved into their beautiful $124 million headquarters across the street from the White House in October as construction was still underway. Upon entering, they discovered rats also were making it their home, according to two sources who spoke to TheDCNF on the condition of anonymity.
The $124 million price tag was double the original $55 million estimate and 25 percent over the $99 million estimate approved by Richard Cordray, the bureau’s first director. White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has temporarily taken over the reins of the troubled bureau.
“Right from the start there were reports of rats in the building,” one employee told TheDCNF in an interview. “There were rat sightings. One person had a rat in her trash can, and they couldn’t get it out. Rat feces were on the floor and on people’s desks. Rats are running across people’s feet when they’re sitting there trying to work,” he said.
“There was a woman who had a rat run across her feet when she was sitting at her desk. She started screaming,” he recalled.
A CFPB spokesman confirmed rats do indeed run throughout parts of the building. “The Bureau identified an issue with rodents appearing in some areas of the building, due in part to the ongoing construction in the basement and ground level areas,” he told TheDCNF in a statement.
Another source told TheDCNF rat traps can be found on all six floors of the building.
“Richard Cordray spent an obscene about of money on renovating the CFPB, and his lavish spending could not even prevent a rat infestation,” Rep. Sean Duffy, a Republican from Wisconsin, told TheDCNF. Duffy, an outspoken critic of the CFPB, is chairman of a House Financial Services subcommittee.