Washington, DC August 24, 2020 – United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on the United States Postal Service (USPS) Board of Governors to immediately release their federal financial disclosure forms that describe potential conflicts of interest that may affect their actions on the Board. Last week, Senator Warren’s staff requested financial disclosure reports for the Governors from the Postal Service’s ethics office, but received back a reply indicating that the Board’s financial disclosure reports “are not releasable to the public,” because the Board members are classified as “Special Government Employees” who work less than 130 days per year. While this may be an accurate reading of the law, it is not consistent with the public interest – and the Board members can best serve the public interest by voluntarily releasing the disclosure information.
“The public has a right to know if members of the Postal Board of Governors have financial conflicts of interest, and if so, whether those conflicts might be affecting their actions – or if they might account for the failure to act,” wrote Senator Warren, “You can easily provide this transparency by voluntarily releasing your complete and unredacted financial disclosures to the public, and I ask that you do so as rapidly as possible.”
Senator Warren’s Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act would close the loophole in federal law and prevent federal officials, like the Board of Governors and DeJoy, from owning or trading any individual stocks.
The Board of Governors appointed a Postmaster General with significant financial conflicts of interest, and who has been engaged in an effort to undermine the mission of the agency. Over the last several months, Postmaster General DeJoy – with the support of President Donald Trump – has taken several actions that threaten the service and integrity of the Postal Service. These actions cause unnecessary hardships for seniors who rely on the postal service for their social security checks and prescription drugs, small businesses that need USPS to ship their products, workers who are waiting for paychecks, and millions of other Americans – and they threaten the ability of Americans to vote in the 2020 elections.
On Friday evening, the Board put out a statement that “Mr. DeJoy has the full support of the Governors.”
“This continued support for Mr. DeJoy’s ongoing efforts to degrade and delay mail service is inexplicable, and raises questions about the role of the Board and the motivations of its members,” wrote Senator Warren. One key question is whether the Governors – like Mr. DeJoy – have investments or outside responsibilities that potentially pose conflicts of interest with their role. The Board could answer this question by releasing their financial disclosures.
On August 6th, Senator Warren asked the Postal Service Inspector General to conduct an investigation of DeJoy’s financial conflicts of interest to determine if they affected any of his actions after reports that he and his wife own or recently owned “$30.1 million to $75.3 million in assets in Postal Service competitors or contractors.” The Inspector General is conducting this investigation. And last week, Senators Warren, Schumer, Peters, Sanders and their colleagues called on the USPS Board of Governors to immediately reverse DeJoy’s sabotage, consistent with their responsibility to “represent the public interest” and their authority under the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, and if necessary, to remove the Postmaster General.