The former business of U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for years reimbursed workers who made political contributions to Republican candidates, the Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing former employees.
North Carolina’s attorney general called for an investigation into the company, New Breed Logistics, based in High Point, North Carolina. DeJoy sold the business in 2014.
Although the payments by New Breed Logistics didn’t usually correlate exactly with the amount of the political contributions, the amounts were large enough to account for both performance bonuses and donations, the newspaper reported, citing two people with knowledge of the company’s finances.
DeJoy was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party and went on to become a major donor to the President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. His tenure at the Postal Service has come under scrutiny amid a growing clash between Democrats and Trump over mail-in ballots for the upcoming election, and over a drop in service that started within weeks of his arrival.
David Young, a former director of human resources at New Breed who had access to payroll records from the late 1990s to 2013, told the newspaper that DeJoy asked employees to make donations and then reciprocated by giving big bonuses.
Monty Hagler, a spokesperson for DeJoy, told the Post that the former New Breed chief executive officer wasn’t aware that any employees felt pressured. DeJoy had sought legal advice to ensure he, New Breed, and any person affiliated with the company fully complied with laws, Hagley said.
“Mr. DeJoy was never notified by the New Breed employees referenced by the Washington Post of any pressure they might have felt to make a political contribution,” he said. “He regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason.”
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, said in a statement that an investigation was warranted.
“It is against the law to directly or indirectly reimburse someone for a political contribution,” Stein said in the statement. “Any credible allegations of such actions merit investigation by the appropriate state and federal authorities.”
The Democratic Attorneys General Association also raised the alarm about what co-chairs Maura Healey and Ellen Rosenblum, of Massachusetts and Oregon, respectively, called “an extensive scheme to violate federal and state campaign finance laws” and “a pattern of potentially criminal conduct.”
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