Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is under fire once again. Last week, the House Committee for Oversight and Reform subpoenaed DeJoy (and possibly the entire USPS Board of Governors) in order to obtain documents regarding mail delays and communication with President Trump’s reelection campaign. Now, the same House panel plans to investigate DeJoy for allegedly reimbursing employees who donated to GOP candidates during his tenure at New Breed Logistics. These allegations are on the heels of widespread media coverage about the failing financial state of the Postal Service, as well as the removal of collection boxes and dismantling of mail sorting machines just before what many consider to be the most critical election of our time. All in all, it seems the new Postmaster General isn’t having the best summer.
House Panel’s Investigation into Postmaster General DeJoy Alleges Unlawful Practices
The allegations that DeJoy repaid executives for donating to GOP candidates doesn’t look bad just because he currently helms the Postal Service, a non-partisan and apolitical institution. It looks bad because it’s simply unlawful to do so. Despite these allegations, DeJoy vehemently denies making any sort of reimbursements to employees for donating to republican party candidates.
When Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked DeJoy about these reimbursements during a House panel on August 24th, the Postmaster General responded angrily with the following comment:
“That’s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it. The answer is no. To be, actually…during the Trump campaign, I wasn’t even working at my company anymore.”
In the above quote, DeJoy mentions he wasn’t at New Breed Logistics when President Trump held his campaign. This is, in fact, true. In 2015, DeJoy retired from his position as CEO of XPO Logistics (the company that New Breed became when the two merged in 2014). However, evidence of these reimbursements he made to employees for donating to GOP campaigns goes way back before the Trump campaign of 2016.
Testimonies from DeJoy’s Former Employees
According to several witness accounts, the company culture at New Breed often pressured employees and executives to make donations to candidates representing the Republican party. Though DeJoy denies anything of this sort, news publications such as the Washington Post have gotten ahold of testimonies from former employees stating otherwise.
David Young, DeJoy’s longtime director of human resources, has been retired for a few years. However, from the late 1990’s to 2013, Young had access to payroll records at New Breed Logistics. When asked about these employee donations in a story first reported by the Washington Post, he said the following:
“[DeJoy] was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party. He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses. When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations…and that covered the tax and everything else. If people contributed, their raises and their bonuses were bumped up to accommodate that.”
Young isn’t the only one. Steve Moore, a former plant manager of a New Breed facility in Illinois, also said he felt pressured to contribute a few months after he started his job in 2007. Then, DeJoy sent managers an email announcing a fundraising event at his house for former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. at the time, Giuliana was running for president. Moore said his manager followed up shortly afterward, telling him it was “highly recommended” to make a financial contribution, even if Moore wouldn’t attend the event.
“I took that to mean my job is on the line here, or things won’t go smooth for me here at New Breed if I didn’t contribute,” Moore said. “I didn’t really agree with what was going on.”
DeJoy Investigated After Democrats Call for Action, Spurred by Washington Post Report
Once the Washington Post report surfaced on Sunday, the attorney general of North Carolina called for an investigation into DeJoy’s alleged reimbursements. New Breed Logistics was based in North Carolina prior to the merger with XPO.
Later that night, Rep. Cooper tweeted that DeJoy should resign, and that the House panel also subpoena his former New Breed executives to testify before the House. Following the report, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in Congress also called to investigate DeJoy based on the allegations.
“These are very serious allegations that must be investigated immediately, independent of Donald Trump’s Justice Department,” Senator Schumer said in a statement.
On top of the upcoming investigation, the United States Postal Service still faces a liquidity crisis and an insurmountable debt load. As Senator Collins’ Postal Emergency Assistance Act makes its way through Congress to (hopefully) provide emergency funding of $25 billion to USPS, these allegations against the new Postmaster General are the least of the organization’s problems.