Former employees of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at New Breed Logistics say they were pressured to donate to Republican candidates and were rewarded for their donations with bonuses, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Three former employees at New Breed Logistics, DeJoy’s former company, described the arrangment by saying that if workers donated to political candidates that DeJoy supported, then they would receive bonuses. Managers were expected to participate, according to the report.
From 1983 to 2014, DeJoy served as the CEO of New Breed Logistics until the company was sold to XPO Logistics.
A fourth employee confirmed that managers were routinely asked to donate. The four former employees agreed to speak if they remained anonymous due to fear of professional repercussions.
More than a dozen management-level employees at New Breed Logistics would commonly donate to the same political candidate on the same day, according to a review of campaign finance records. The employees also often wrote checks for the same amount of money, the review finds.
Twenty senior and mid-level New Breed Logistics officials donated $37,600 in total on a day in Oct. 2014 to Senator Thom Tillis. Each New Breed official wrote a check for the maximum allowable donation, $2,600 or $1,000.
At that time, Tillis was running to unseat a Democratic incumbent.
Three of the former employees said it was believed that the bonuses were compensation for donating to political candidates. Although, the former employees did not mention how direct DeJoy was about the link between the encouraged donations and the bonuses.
Monty Hagler, the spokesman for DeJoy, released the following statement:
“Louis DeJoy, in his personal capacity and as CEO of New Breed Logistics, encouraged employees and family members to be active in their communities, schools, churches, civic groups, sporting events and the politics that governs our nation. Mr. DeJoy consistently provided family members and employees with various volunteer opportunities to get involved in activities that a family member or employee might feel was important or enjoyable to that individual.
Mr. DeJoy was never notified by the New Breed employees referenced by the Washington Post of any pressure they might have felt to make a political contribution, and he regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason.
During his leadership of New Breed Logistics, Mr. DeJoy sought and received legal advice from the former General Counsel of the Federal Election Commission on election laws, including the law of political contributions, to ensure that he, New Breed Logistics and any person affiliated with New Breed fully complied with any and all laws. Mr. DeJoy believes that all campaign fundraising laws and regulations should be complied with in all respects.”
A person reimbursing someone else who donated to a political candidate in order to get around contribution limits is called a straw-donor scheme and is prohibited by federal campaign finance laws. However, encouraging workers to make donations is legal.
Campaign finance records show that similar donation patterns to the Tills donation go back to 2003 with contributions made to the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush.
Dr. Aldona Wos, DeJoy’s wife, was the chairwoman of President Bush’s North Carolina fund-raising team and was later appointed to serve as the ambassador to Estonia.
During a hearing in August, DeJoy denied a suggestion by Representative Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee, that he had reimbursed political donations made by his employees.