The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating controversial Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in connection with campaign contributions made by former employees of the longtime businessman, a spokesman of DeJoy’s confirmed Thursday.
Mark Corallo, the spokesman, said in a statement that the department is probing “contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector.”
DeJoy had been a Republican megadonor before he was appointed to lead the U.S. Postal Service during the Trump administration.
The Washington Post, which first reported on the investigation Thursday, had published a story last year on allegations from some employees at DeJoy’s former company, New Breed Logistics, that they were pressured to contribute to Republican political candidates and then were paid back through bonuses.
Reimbursement efforts such as those could violate federal law.
In his statement, Corallo said that DeJoy “has always been scrupulous in his adherence to the campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them. Mr. DeJoy fully cooperated with and answered the questions posed by Congress regarding these matters. The same is true of the Postal Service Inspector General’s inquiry which after a thorough investigation gave Mr. DeJoy a clean bill of health on his disclosure and divestment issues. He expects nothing less in this latest matter and he intends to work with DOJ toward swiftly resolving it.”
The FBI said it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation. The Postal Service had no comment.
During his short time as head of the Postal Service, the agency has faced sharp criticism for cost-cutting measures sought by DeJoy, which critics say were part of an intentional effort to slow down mail service in the months leading up to the 2020 elections.
DeJoy, during congressional hearings last year into the issue, denied the service cutbacks were related to any effort to deter voting by mail.
In August, DeJoy agreed to postpone the controversial changes at the agency, which included reducing employee overtime hours and eliminating hundreds of postal-sorting machines.
In March, DeJoy unveiled a 10-year reorganization plan for the agency.