Capital area chief Lane leaves Postal Service after assault allegation

Jerry Lane
Jerry Lane (Courtesy Of Usps - Courtesy Of Usps)
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By Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 11, 2010

The top U.S. Postal Service official for the Washington region is out of a job after an incident last week in Sterling involving a postal worker.

Jerry D. Lane had served as vice president of operations for the Postal Service's Capital Metro Area since 2006.

Lane, based in Gaithersburg, visited the Dulles Processing and Distribution Center in Sterling on June 1 and allegedly argued with the center's manager, Kathleen J. Michaels. The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call at the building about 2 p.m., spokesman Kraig Troxell said.

Michaels filed misdemeanor assault charges June 3, and Lane was issued a summons to appear in Loudoun General District Court on June 17, according to court records. The records provided no other details concerning the matter, and Troxell declined to offer further information.

Postal Service spokesman Gerald McKiernan said Lane "separated" from the agency June 3, but he would not say whether Lane was fired or had resigned, citing personnel policy and privacy concerns. The Postal Service's Office of Inspector General has launched an internal investigation, said Dan Mihalko, a spokesman for the office.

Calls to Lane and Michaels seeking comment went unanswered.

Lane worked for the Postal Service for 32 years and once managed the District's Brentwood postal facility, where two workers died during the 2001 anthrax attacks.

In an April interview, Postmaster General John E. Potter said, "I'm proud of what we've done with equal employment, with harassment issues, with workplace environment issues."

Known for a relatively hands-off approach when it comes to regional operations, Potter said he responds "very quickly" to allegations of harassment and workplace concerns.

The Capital Metro Area includes the District, Maryland, Northern and Eastern Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. It delivers more than 9.9 billion pieces of mail to more than 10.7 million addresses and has a $5.1 billion operating budget.

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