Postal Updates

USPS board of governors criticized for how it selected DeJoy as PMG

Sep 16, 2020, 10 AM
The board of governors came under intense scrutiny during a Sept. 14 hearing before the House Subcommittee on Government Operations for neglecting to do a thorough background check on Louis DeJoy before appointing him postmaster general.

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The United States Postal Service’s board of governors came under sharp criticism before a subcommittee of the House of Representative’s Committee on Oversight and Reform Sept. 14 for failing to do a thorough search of Louis DeJoy’s background before naming him postmaster general.

The hearing by the Subcommittee on Government Operations was the latest effort by House Democrats to paint DeJoy as a crony of the president whose selection by a board composed of Trump appointees avoided the normal vetting and background checks.

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va, who presided over the session, said that this was “the corrupt way Mr. DeJoy was selected for this position.”

To make their case, Democrats called a former chairman of the Postal Service’s board of governors, a former chief White House ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration, a former chairwoman of the Federal Elections Commission, and others who found fault with DeJoy’s selection.

Some warned the subcommittee that DeJoy could face criminal charges for his actions as a Republican fundraiser who pressured his former employees to donate to Republican Party causes and then reimbursed them with company funds.

Republicans denounced the hearing, calling it a kangaroo court that was more interested in convicting DeJoy than finding a solution to the Postal Service’s well-known financial troubles.

Connolly said the panel had every right and a responsibility to probe into how DeJoy, a North Carolina business executive and GOP mega donor, became the nation’s 75th postmaster general.

David Fineman, a Philadelphia lawyer and former USPS board chairman, said he would not have approved DeJoy’s hiring because of his apparent conflict of interest owning stocks in New Breed Logistics, the Greensboro, N.C., logistics company where he used to work.

Former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard W. Painter said DeJoy would have not met his office’s requirements for complete divestiture of his holdings before taking office.

Ann M. Ravel, former Federal Election Commission chairwoman, said DeJoy appeared to be the poster child for making illegal straw donations to GOP causes via his employees. She added, however, that the federal law is rarely enforced.

Common Cause of North Carolina, a government watchdog group, has been pressing that state’s attorney general to bring charges against DeJoy for violations of the state’s campaign laws.

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., suggested the subcommittee subpoena the 124 workers at DeJoy’s former company who donated to GOP causes while he ran the firm.

“Never has the Postal Service been led by so partisan a team,” Cooper said.

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