Experts Agree DeJoy’s Conflicts of Interest Should Have Disqualified Him from Consideration for Postmaster General

Sep 15, 2020
Press Release
Ethics, Campaign Finance Law Experts Warn of Severity of DeJoy’s Campaign Finance Violations

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 15, 2020)—On Monday, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, held a hearing to examine Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s potential conflicts of interest and evaluate how his continued leadership could jeopardize the Postal Service and the mail-in voting process for the 2020 election.  The hearing also discussed his potentially criminal campaign finance violations, as first reported by the Washington Post.

 

“Today marks the start of his 13th week of federal service,” Chairman Connolly said.  “And yet his record is characterized by tumult, controversy, plummeting service, and betrayal of customers in dire need of lifesaving medicines and supplies.  But the trucks are on time—albeit with the mail left behind.”

 

At the hearing, S. David Fineman, the former Chairman of the United States Postal Service Board of Governors, and Richard W. Painter, the former Chief White House Ethics Lawyer and Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush, testified that DeJoy’s selection process was highly irregular given his financial conflicts of interest and would not have been tolerated under previous administrations.

 

Yesterday was the deadline for the Board of Governors to provide the Committee documents and information to shed light on the corrupt way Mr. DeJoy was selected for this position. 

 

The Subcommittee heard testimony from Fineman, Painter, Lisa Graves, Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief of True North Research; Ann M. Ravel, former Federal Election Commission Chair, CA Fair Political Practices Chair and Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley Law; and Michael Plunkett, the President and CEO of the Association for Postal Commerce (Postcom).

 

Members and witnesses were alarmed that the Board of Governors failed to perform a sufficient background check that would have turned up economic and political conflicts of interest that could damage the reputation of the most beloved of federal government agencies, the Postal Service.

 

  • Ms. Graves released in her testimony that DeJoy donated more than $600,000 to the Trump campaign eight weeks prior to the vacancy announcement for the Postmaster General position.  “This level of partisanship undermines public trust in the Postal Service as an institution,” said Ms. Graves.

 

  • “What’s coming out in the press clearly were things that the Board of Governors should have, and I would have expected they would have, found out had they done a proper investigation,” said Mr. Fineman, who undertook the hiring for two Postmasters General.

 

Witnesses testified that Congress should investigate DeJoy’s alleged wrongdoing, which includes accusations of coercing former employees to donate to Republican candidates and then reimbursing them for it.

 

  • Mr. Painter, the former ethics counsel under President Bush, said:  “If you bring in someone who has committed campaign finance violations, who’s willing to do anything—including violate the law—to elect someone who they want to be president or to win other elections, what’s going to stop them from doing it when they run the government agency, whether it’s the United States Postal Service or any other agency?”

 

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116th Congress