Washington D.C. Bureaucrat Richard Cordray is facing yet another potential scandal as a direct result of his mismanagement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, raising even more questions for him as he seeks Ohio’s highest office. A new report has revealed that under Cordray, the CFPB grossly overspent on costs for “luxurious” taxpayer-funded renovations to its Washington, D.C. headquarters, posting cost overruns that were “significantly above the original budget.”
This represents the latest in a slew of controversies plaguing Cordray’s campaign stemming from his tenure at the CFPB as Ohio voters learn more about his scandal-plagued record. Under Cordray’s leadership, the agency has faced accusations of bureaucratic overreach, widespread gender and racial discrimination, and funneling taxpayer funds to Democrat ad makers, all on top of Cordray’s dubious eleventh hour attempt to play politics with the CFPB’s leadership and undermine the president’s authority as he resigned his position.
With new scandals emerging almost weekly for Washington D.C.’s most power-hungry bureaucrat, Richard Cordray’s mismanagement of the CFPB continues to burden his lackluster gubernatorial campaign as Ohioans learn just how unfit he is to lead their state.
Renovation costs for the brand new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau headquarters have skyrocketed, posting 25 percent in cost overruns — significantly above the original budget set by the General Services Administration, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
Original cost estimates for the CFPB’s renovation were estimated at $55 million, but the bureau ran up the proposed cost to $216 million. The Federal Reserve Inspector General rejected the proposal in 2014, saying there was no ‘sound basis’ for the figure.
As the CFPB renovation costs continued to escalate, renovation was taken out of the CFPB’s hands and transferred to the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA’s budget, however, was nearly twice the original $55 million, hitting $99 million.
That figure ballooned to more than $124 million, according to a June 30, 2017, GSA document obtained by The DCNF under the Freedom of Information Act. The document was part of a release of ‘change orders’ and ‘modifications’ submitted by Grunley Construction, the Washington, D.C.-based general contractor selected by GSA to renovate the CFPB building.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the DCNF about the ‘excesses’ he saw within the new building on his first day as acting director of the CFPB.
"Some of the obvious questions I asked myself when walking into the renovated Bureau headquarters on my first day as Acting Director were: who initially authorized these renovations, were they absolutely necessary, and were adequate cost controls in place? As I begin to focus on the Bureau’s budget, I hope to discover the facts behind these excesses and help ensure abuses won’t happen again," Mulvaney stated in an email to The DCNF.
Ballooning renovation costs for luxurious perks is only one of a number of high-profile controversies that beset the agency created under President Barack Obama. They include cases of widespread gender, racial and ethnic employment discrimination, massive data mining of 42 billion credit card transactions by consumers, and a history of bullying corporations into turning over millions in dubious settlement cases.
The bureau butted heads with the Trump Administration the day after Thanksgiving 2017 when Richard Cordray, its first director, resigned to run for political office. Cordray invoked a clause in the CFPB founding documents that permitted the outgoing director to name his successor.”
Cordray appointed Obama holdover Leandra English as CFPB’s acting director. When President Donald Trump appointed Mulvaney to serve as acting director, English, financed by secret donors, sued in federal court to block Mulvaney from assuming the reins of the bureau.