Americans for Prosperity (AFP) released a scathing news bulletin on Wednesday through a newsletter that a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed some less-than-frugal uses of credit cards by some U.S. Postal Service employees when they leave town.
With the federal government, essentially for all intent and purposes, is bankrupt, including the U.S. Postal Service who runs short of money every year, decades of mismanagement, lavish pension plans for retirees and more people using e-mail instead of sending letters were all causes of lower revenue for the Postal Service.
According to the Americans for Prosperity FOIA request, USPS employers are not aware of the financial condition of the USPS and government employees have access to credit cards when they travel for business.
AFP said that about a dozen reports of investigations into travel fraud were discovered, and one manager’s conduct was especially shocking.
The request revealed that a report by the Inspector General, an unnamed manager withdrew $32,000 to gamble with after she hit the limits on her personal credit cards.
AFP said, “But this dedicated employee didn’t let snow, rain or ethics stop her free-spending ways. She also used her government card for gas, parking, rental cars and tolls for personal use, and she claimed that a fast-lane transponder “fell into her purse” out of a USPS vehicle.”
“This manager’s assistant was put in a very awkward position when she was ordered to pick up rental cars for the manager’s personal use. The assistant also told investigators her manager was frequently out of the office, did not say where she would be and was difficult to reach when she was out of the office.”
“The spending on the government card for gambling, rental cars for personal use and other items came to a grand total of $45,000. However, she did pay it back in full by February of 2010, “said AFP.
AFP continued and pointed out that on top of all this spending, the manager was paid for 58 days where she was off work or did personal business. This included sick days and dependent care sick days, neither of which she was eligible for.
The Inspector General report pointed out that another employee used her travel card for $2,400 to gamble at a casino. Initially she told investigators that she got her government travel card confused with one of her personal cards. However, she took back this story and confessed “she needed the money to go to the casino, and she goes to the casino too much.”
This employee, who had a $1,300 balance still on the card and paid off the remaining balance by the following week and was fired for inappropriate travel card use last November.
A North Carolina postmaster claimed $9,400 in mileage for 96 service reviews of various post offices for which she had no records. After interviewing the postmaster and other employees at this location, she finally settled with the USPS paying back $5,000 in false travel charges. Instead of losing her job, she settled for a demotion from Postmaster to Customer Service Supervisor.
AFP said, “These are more examples of out-of-control government spending funded by our tax dollars. The persistent lack of accountability at many levels of government is why public operations will never be as good or efficient as those in the private sector.”