United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy hired four people who previously worked for his businesses to work with him at USPS in June, according to documents obtained by American Oversight through a FOIA request and viewed by CNN.
DeJoy began working as postmaster general on June 15. In the following two weeks, he brought on four people who had previously worked at his companies to be his chief of staff, executive administrator and senior executive advisers at USPS. The documents also show that DeJoy’s base salary as postmaster general is $303,460.
USPS did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the hires.
Since taking over as postmaster general, DeJoy has come under intense scrutiny from Democrats for changes he made to USPS that have caused widespread mailing delays. DeJoy’s relationship with President Donald Trump as a megadonor, coupled with the President’s continued false claims on mail-in voting, fueled allegations that the Trump administration was using USPS to influence the election, a charge DeJoy denies.
DeJoy has argued that his changes to USPS are designed to save the organization money in the short and long term. His initial changes, like restricting late and extra mail truck trips, have been blamed by many workers and union officials as a key cause for significant delays across the postal system. They also inadvertently caused reductions in overtime.
In the first two weeks as the new head of USPS, DeJoy brought in some expensive new hires.
He hired Patrick Fiorentino and Kelly Abney to be senior executive advisers starting on June 27. Abney and Fiorentino both previously worked at XPO Logistics, the company DeJoy served on the Board of Directors for after it acquired his own company, New Breed Logistics, in 2014. Abney was hired with a base salary of $195,000, while Fiorentino was hired with a base salary of $180,000, according to the documents.
American Oversight, a nonpartisan ethics watchdog organization, initially requested information through FOIA about any personnel changes in the postmaster general’s office.
“This is the story we’ve seen over and over in the Trump administration: One set of rules for the president and his closest allies, and another for everyone else. DeJoy’s cost-cutting initiatives that have caused delivery delays across the country don’t seem to apply to his own staff,” American Oversight Executive Director Austin Evers said in a statement.
DeJoy also hired Heather Clarke to be his chief of staff with a base salary of $184,900. Clarke started working at USPS on June 20. She previously worked for DeJoy’s real estate investment and consulting firm, LDJ Global Strategies LLC, since December 2015, as well as the DeJoy-Wos Family Foundation Inc. since 2009, according to her resume.
DeJoy hired Emily Saunders as an executive administrator starting June 20. Saunders previously worked at LDJ Global Strategies as an administrative assistant since July 2016, according to the documents.
Clarification: This story and headline has been updated to reflect that one business is publicly traded.