Former USPS Board Member: Mnuchin Worked To Politicize The Postal Service
In testimony before Congress on Thursday, the former vice chairman of the U.S. Postal Service board of governors and inspector general accused Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin of attempting to politicize the USPS, according to The Hill.
- “David Williams, a former Postal Service inspector general who resigned in April as the vice chairman of the agency's board of governors, said that he stepped down from his role because he felt the Treasury Department was trying to make the traditionally apolitical agency a ‘political tool,’” the outlet reported.
- At a forum hosted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Williams told lawmakers: “I resigned from the board of governors because I was convinced that its independent role had been marginalized and that representations regarding an independent Postal Service for the nation were no longer truthful.”
- He added: “By statute, the Treasury was made responsible for providing the Postal Service with a line of credit. The Treasury was using that responsibility to make demands that I believed would turn the Postal Service into a political tool, ending its long history as an apolitical public infrastructure.”
- According to Williams, Mnuchin “insisted” that Republican appointees to the board of governors and the Postal Regulatory Commission “kiss the ring” before confirmation.
- He also said Mnuchin “kept close tabs on labor agreements, price increases and volume discounts given to customers like Amazon and UPS,” The Hill wrote.
- One of the board’s designated Democratic governors, Williams had previously been the USPS’ inspector general for 13 years. He served as a governor for nearly two years before resigning.
Williams said that an executive hiring firm was contracted to recommend a candidate for the position of postmaster general, but the GOP donor who ultimately got the job, Louis DeJoy, was instead introduced late in the process by John Barger, another member of the Postal Service's board of governors who was appointed by President Trump.
Williams said that DeJoy "didn't strike me as a serious candidate" and that Barger helped him finish a number of sentences during the interview process.
- On Thursday, Mnuchin denied that he or any other Treasury officials was involved in DeJoy’s hiring “but did ask that the Postal Service board of governors keep him ‘apprised’ during its search to fill the position,’” The Hill reported.
- As for his role as chair of the Federal Financing Bank (FFB), which is the Postal Service’s sole lender, Mnuchin sain a Thursday letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY):
"Like any responsible creditor or guarantor, I take seriously my responsibility for sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars that the FFB lends and the U.S. Treasury guarantees.”