Others, including Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), on Monday called on the board of governors to suspend DeJoy pending an investigation by Maloney’s committee into claims that he reimbursed employees for campaign contributions they made to his preferred GOP politicians.
The move came a day after The Washington Post reported allegations that DeJoy and his aides urged employees at New Breed Logistics, his former North Carolina-based supply-chain logistics company, to write checks and attend fundraisers on behalf of Republican political candidates. Former employees who worked for New Breed told The Post that DeJoy pressured them to contribute to DeJoy’s favored political causes and later reimbursed them with company bonuses, a practice that would violate state and federal law.
Between 2000 and 2014, 124 individuals who worked for the company together gave more than $1 million to federal and state GOP candidates. Many had not previously made political donations and have not made any since leaving the company, public records show. During the same period, nine employees gave a combined $700 to Democrats.
But members of the board, dominated 4 to 2 by Republican members appointed by President Trump, told The Post that the body fully backs the postmaster general, who has held the job for 87 days.
“He has 100 percent board support,” William Zollars, a Republican governor of the board, said in a phone interview. “From a logistics and operations standpoint, Louis DeJoy is as good as it gets. He has support on both sides of the aisle.”
“This man is doing a tremendous job,” fellow Republican board member John Barger said in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday afternoon.
The board’s chairman, Republican Robert M. Duncan, Republican member Roman Martinez IV, and two Democrats, Donald Lee Moak and Ron Bloom, did not respond to requests for comment.
“When given the opportunity to restore confidence in the USPS, the board of governors today chose instead to continue their dereliction of duty,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chair of the House subcommittee responsible for postal oversight, said in a statement. “Mr. DeJoy’s term as Postmaster General has been defined by conflict, sabotage, incompetence and politicization. Anything short of his immediate removal is a total failure in oversight and accountability.”
DeJoy raised his profile in national conservative politics as a major Republican financier in North Carolina. He and his wife, Aldona Wos, Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Canada, were active fundraisers for former president George W. Bush. Wos served for two years as the U.S. ambassador to Estonia under Bush and later served as North Carolina’s secretary of health and human services for Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, for whom Wos and DeJoy fundraised heavily. DeJoy was also a major backer of former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid.
DeJoy has donated more than $2 million to the Trump campaign and Republican causes since 2016.
Zollars said the board had no plans to discipline DeJoy over the allegations of illegal partisan fundraising. He said DeJoy told board members “that he feels like he has done nothing wrong.”
Barger and Zollars said they were very pleased with the operational changes the postmaster general implemented. Barger told the Senate panel that DeJoy did not brief the governors on those policies — which included a stricter dispatch schedule on mail transportation that has forced postal workers to leave mail behind, and a ban on extra trips to ensure on-time delivery — but that the board was “thrilled” by the postmaster general’s performance.
“The board is tickled pink, every single board member, with the impact he’s having,” Barger said. “He’s an excellent leader. He’s an excellent supply-chain logistics savant. And I’m very, very pleased with his performance since coming on board.”
Barger compared the service problems to a body that is sore after exercising and told lawmakers the changes were starting to “bear fruit.”
“What I try to explain to people who ask is, it’s similar to somebody who goes to a gym to work out,” Barger said. “If you listen to your muscles while you’re working out, your muscles are going to say, ‘Stop, don’t you know you’re killing me?’”
Postal Service performance metrics are bouncing back from disruption from when DeJoy’s policies were implemented, Barger said.
“When we saw some of the controversy, I thought some of the Senate and House were catching us doing good,” Barger said.
As of the final week of August, on-time delivery rates remained worse than before DeJoy took office for first-class mail (down from more than 90 percent on-time, to just more than 85 percent) and periodicals (down from 80 percent to 75 percent), according to Postal Service data provided to Congress. Marketing mail on-time delivery rates returned to pre-DeJoy levels.