Postal chief under fire over alleged campaign law violations

FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump says he's open to an investigation of  DeJoy after some of DeJoy's former employees said they felt pressured to donate to GOP candidates.(Tom Williams/Pool via AP)
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2020, file photo, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump says he's open to an investigation of DeJoy after some of DeJoy's former employees said they felt pressured to donate to GOP candidates.(Tom Williams/Pool via AP) (2020 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.)

WASHINGTON – Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is facing increased scrutiny as House Democrats investigate allegations that he encouraged employees at his former business to contribute to Republican candidates and then reimbursed them in the guise of bonuses, a violation of campaign finance laws.

Five people who worked for DeJoy’s former company, New Breed Logistics, say they were urged by DeJoy’s aides or by DeJoy himself to write checks and attend fundraisers at his mansion in Greensboro, North Carolina, The Washington Post reported. Two former employees told the newspaper that DeJoy would later give bigger bonuses to reimburse for the contributions.

DeJoy was already under fire amid allegations that operational changes he made since taking the postal job in June have delayed mail, sparking concern over the agency’s ability to process a flood of mail-in ballots expected this fall due to coronavirus fears. The House Oversight Committee recently subpoenaed DeJoy for records about widespread delays that have pushed the Postal Service into the political spotlight.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the oversight panel, said in a statement Tuesday that if the allegations about campaign finance violations are true, “DeJoy could face criminal exposure — not only for his actions in North Carolina, but also for lying to our Committee under oath.”

She was referring to DeJoy’s testimony before her committee last month, when he forcefully denied he had repaid executives for contributing to Trump’s campaign.

Campaign finance disclosures show that between 2000 and 2014, when New Breed was sold, more than 100 employees donated over $610,000 to Republican candidates that DeJoy and his family supported. The figure excludes more than $1 million that DeJoy and family members gave to Republican politicians.

GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who is facing a tough reelection race this year, was a top recipient, collecting more than $190,000 from over 35 company workers ahead of his 2014 election, records show. The contributions were all made during a short window of time, between the end of September and the first week of October.

Former N.C. Sen. Elizabeth Dole collected over $88,000 from New Breed employees between 2002 and her losing 2008 reelection bid, records show.