No charges brought against DeJoy for political giving
By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said April 1 that the United States Department of Justice has closed its criminal investigation into his political giving without bringing any charges.
“I’m pleased that this episode is over and I can continue to serve the American people as postmaster general of the United States,” DeJoy said in a brief statement.
“As I said from the beginning and have maintained throughout this process, I was confident that after a thorough review the Justice Department would find all of my activities to be lawful,” said DeJoy, who has been a major Republican Party contributor.
“I have always adhered to the law in my personal and professional life. So I was not surprised that the Justice Department — like the inspector general [Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General], the FEC [Federal Elections Commission] and the congressional committees — has closed its investigation,” he said.
The federal investigation, which DeJoy disclosed in June 2021, had clouded his tenure as the nation’s 75th postmaster general.
The 64-year-old Brooklyn-born former logistics executive was a well-known GOP financial donor when he was named in May 2020 by the Postal Service’s board of governors composed of appointees made by President Donald Trump.
Both The New York Times and the Washington Post reported in 2021 that employees at New Breed Logistics, a North Carolina company DeJoy ran, said they were pressured to make donations to political candidates he was supporting.
Some of the New Breed Logistics employees said they were rewarded with company bonuses after making the contributions. That would have been a violation of both North Carolina and federal election laws.
DeJoy had maintained from the outset that he had not violated any laws and was cooperating with federal officials.
The Associated Press, which first reported DeJoy’s April 1 statement, said the Justice Department would not comment on the status of its investigation.
The AP quoted a spokesman for DeJoy as saying DeJoy’s lawyer had received a letter from the department stating the criminal inquiry had concluded.
A North Carolina prosecutor who had been asked to examine DeJoy’s political giving did not file any charges against him.
Although DeJoy’s April 1 statement indicated an end to one of his most vexing problems, other problems emerged in the same week.
New members of the board of governors and a report by the Consumer Postal Council on mail deliveries could cause potential problems for the postmaster general.
Two new Biden administration appointees to the board of governors told senators March 31 that they would be willing to re-examine some of DeJoy’s more controversial actions as postmaster general.
During a hearing of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, both Dan Tangherlini, a Democrat, and Derek Kan, a Republican, agreed to review DeJoy’s slowing of mail deliveries, his planned delivery truck purchases and his actions on a new postal law.
Biden’s press secretary has been critical of DeJoy as the administration has moved to replace five board members who backed DeJoy.
If the new appointments are confirmed, it would bring the number of Biden appointees on the board of governors to five.
Another issue that DeJoy will face is the slower mail service that he authorized.
Paul Steidler, a senior fellow at the Consumer Postal Council, issued a scathing report April 1 on DeJoy’s plan to slow mail deliveries.
The report accused the Postal Service of having “shredded credibility” with the postmaster general’s 2021 promise to deliver 95 percent of all first-class mail on time.
Steidler said the agency and DeJoy’s Delivering for America plan suggested mail deliveries would quickly return to the 95 percent level after falling shortly after he took office.
However, Steidler cited a March 15 filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission as saying the move to 95 percent would occur “over several years as infrastructure and network changes necessary to achieve this performance are implemented.”
That is at odds with what DeJoy and postal officials had been saying, Steidler said.
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