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Response to stillcool (Original post)

Mon Aug 24, 2020, 12:12 PM

23. eau De Joy

Column: DeJoy’s appointment as postmaster general looks even more dishonest than you thought
By MICHAEL HILTZIKBUSINESS COLUMNIST
AUG. 21, 202012:09 PM
But congressional testimony this week by David Williams, a former USPS inspector general and former vice chairman of the service’s board of governors, put some meat on those bare bones.

Williams told the Congressional Progressive Caucus that he resigned from the USPS board when it became clear it was about to appoint DeJoy.

He says DeJoy’s name came to the board outside the normal route, which went through the headhunting firm Russell Reynolds. Instead it came from board member John M. Barger, a Southern California investment executive who was supervising the postmaster search.

Barger told the board he had had lunch with DeJoy and “wanted to move his name forward,” Williams said. “It wasn’t clear how [Barger] had met Mr. DeJoy to me, and I don’t think anyone was clear on it.”

Williams testified that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been steadily injecting himself into USPS operations well before DeJoy’s appointment, though he was unable to say whether Mnuchin played a direct role in the appointment.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer has said he has evidence that Mnuchin interfered in the hiring process, but that the USPS has refused to waive confidentiality about the appointment. Mnuchin has said he played no role, according to Reuters.

Headhunting firm Russell Reynolds had brought forth several candidates who would have been vastly more qualified, he said, but he wasn’t aware that DeJoy was on their list. Although DeJoy had run a logistics company that had held a contract with the USPS, that was “narrow” expertise in terms of the demand on the postmaster general, Williams said.

Williams said that DeJoy did not appear to have received the background check normal for appointees to high government positions. That should have included an audit of a contract his former company had held with the USPS.

“It looked like there were concerns about whether his company was billing correctly and performing fully,” Williams said. “That contract file needs to be examined. ... We didn’t do that.”

A full background check might also have revealed DeJoy holdings worth at least $30 million in USPS competitors and contractors. In June, DeJoy also purchased options on Amazon stock that might rise in value if the USPS’ ability to compete with Amazon is hamstrung.

Williams said that he resigned from the USPS board in April after growing concerned over Mnuchin’s efforts to interfere in USPS operations. Only days later, the board appointed DeJoy as postmaster general.

“It became clear to me,” Williams testified, “that the administration was politicizing the postal service.” Mnuchin “insisted that all Republican appointees to the board of governors and the Postal Regulatory Commission come to his office and ‘kiss the ring’ and receive his blessing before confirmation.”

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-08-21/dejoy-appointment-postmaster-dishonest

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