Postmaster General Louis DeJoy holds a major financial stake in a company that the U.S. Postal Service uses as a contractor, according to a report from CNN, which lays out exactly how DeJoy is making a mint while heading the nation’s mail delivery system:
“(DeJoy) continues to hold a multimillion-dollar stake in his former company XPO Logistics, a United States Postal Service contractor, likely creating a major conflict of interest, according to newly obtained financial disclosures and ethics experts.
“Outside experts who spoke to CNN were shocked that ethics officials at the postal service approved this arrangement, which allows DeJoy to keep at least $30 million in XPO holdings.”
DeJoy also appears to have a serious conflict of interest as it relates to Amazon:
“Raising further alarms, on the same day in June that DeJoy divested large amounts of Amazon shares, he purchased stock options giving him the right to buy new shares of Amazon at a price much lower than their current market price, according to the disclosures.
“This could lead to a separate conflict, given President Donald Trump’s disdain for Amazon, and his reported effort in 2018 to pressure DeJoy’s predecessor to raise prices on Amazon and other firms, while complaining about its founder Jeff Bezos. The Treasury Department also recently struck a loan deal with USPS that gives the Trump administration more leverage to push for higher shipping prices — one of his pet projects.”
These financial conflicts are the latest controversy surrounding DeJoy, who has also begun a “restructuring” of the Postal Service that has reportedly led to cutbacks in the hours employees are allowed to work, a slowdown of service, mail being left undelivered across the nation, and sorting machines removed from some post offices in states such as Iowa.
Such inconsistencies in the U.S. mail system are especially troubling since the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to infect thousands each day. So far, 169,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, which is expected to mean that millions will cast ballots by mail in an effort to avoid exposure. DeJoy’s cutbacks, however, could lead to many votes not arriving at election offices on time or delaying the count of votes.
Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, noted that DeJoy’s financial holdings in XPO Logistics are clearly unethical and should disqualify him from serving as postmaster general:
“The idea that you can be a postmaster general and hold tens of millions in stocks in a postal service contractor is pretty shocking. It could be that he’s planning on selling it, but I don’t understand the delay. He has managed to divest a lot of other things. And if he wasn’t prepared to sell that off, he shouldn’t have taken the job.”
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