PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh mail carrier is under investigation for allegedly dumping undelivered mail in the trash.
With the election just weeks away, there are now two federal criminal investigations into local mail carriers. No actual ballots have been recovered, but special agents from the United States Postal Service keep recovering mail from trash bags and waste bins.
Over the past few weeks at the Persad Center in Lawrenceville, Operations Coordinator Tony Kuhar kept finding mail in the trash. He checked his surveillance cameras and saw a mail carrier allegedly throwing away other bundles after delivering mail to the center.
“Just didn’t want to do his job it seems because it was all addresses within a few blocks of here,” said Kuhar.
The Postal Service Office of Inspector General, which is now investigating, says the abandoned bundles included several classes of mail, including one ballot application and dozens of political mailings.
The Office of Inspector General added that the carrier is on non-duty, non-pay status, but he is one of two now under the gun for allegedly dumping mail.
On Monday, KDKA’s Andy Sheehan reported that agents seized eight garbage bags of suspected undelivered mail left for trash pickup outside the Baldwin home of mail carrier Sean Troesch. The postal service said the mail was not opened and did not contain any election ballots, but neighbors say Troesch had been leaving a similar number of trash bags out for several weeks.
“The mail is safe,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerlad. “Every once and a while, you’re going to have a rogue issue that’s going to happen.”
Fitzgerald called these isolated incidents and said the incidents should not shake public confidence in the county’s mail-in voting system. Inspector General spokesperson Scott Balfour echoed those sentiments nationwide.
“I will point out that the vast majority of the Postal Service’s 630,000 employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals who work around the clock to deliver the nation’s mail, and incidents of this nature are exceedingly rare when put into that context,” Balfour said in a statement
Mail tampering is a serious crime, and the Office of Inspector General says it will turn the findings of these investigations over to the U.S. Attorney’s office for prosecution.