KEY POINTS

  • The House Oversight Committee announced an investigation into Postmaster General Louis Dejoy following allegations of circumventing campaign finance laws
  • Former employees say Dejoy pressured and compensated workers for donations through his fundraisers
  • Dejoy is also accused of reducing postal capacity ahead of the 2020 presidential election 

The House Oversight Committee announced an investigation of Postmaster General Louis Dejoy following allegations he circumvented campaign finance laws in North Carolina.

Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney announced the move on Twitter Tuesday. Former employees of Dejoy said he reimbursed them for hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to Republican politicians. Dejoy is also under added scrutiny following changes in post office policy that could hamper mail-in voting ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Five former employees said in interviews with the Washington Post that Dejoy had systematically incentivized and compensated employees of his former company, New Breed Logistics, for participating in fundraisers for Republican causes. They say that those who participated were given bonuses equal to or larger than the money spent. A single candidate, Sen. Thom Tillis, collected nearly $300,000 from Dejoy’s employees, the Post said. 

Dejoy and other company executives have denied the allegations, saying bonuses weren’t connected to contributions.

“That’s illegal -- you can’t do that,” said Joe Hauck, former New Breed vice president of sales, marketing and communications.

Dejoy has also come under fire recently for changes in postal service policy such as the removal and destruction of mail sorting machines -- a process he said was underway before he took office -- and overtime restrictions that have resulted in delivery delays. Democrats are much more likely to vote via mail than Republicans, so mail delays could mean that Trump might lead on election night but fall behind as mailed ballots are counted. Trump has cast doubt on the legitimacy of such a result.

Dejoy has said the removal of sorting machines and post boxes is standard procedure and they are just being temporarily moved to make way for package sorting equipment. He said in testimony last month such activities would be suspended until after the election. 

Despite this, USPS informed its workers' union 671 machines would be decommissioned, a change that would affect 600 million pieces of mail a day. The machines also were reported to be fully dismantled rather than simply moved, which wouldn’t line up with the claim that this was a temporary relocation. 

“There's no way it's not going to be a problem [for] Election Day,” said Lamont Brooks, director of the clerks division of the American Postal Workers Union.