Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, reportedly engaged in what is known as a straw-donor scheme back when he was chief executive of the company of New Breed Logistics. That news is on the radar of the attorney general of North Carolina, where DeJoy was based.
Any credible allegations of such actions merit investigation by the appropriate state and federal authorities. Beyond this, it would be inappropriate for me as Attorney General to comment on any specific matter at this time. 2/2
— Josh Stein (@JoshStein_) September 6, 2020
AG Josh Stein, a Democrat, declined to speak directly to the substance of the claims against DeJoy, a prominent GOP donor. He only acknowledged the story, and said that it is illegal to reimburse someone for a political contribution.
“Any credible allegations of such actions merit investigation by the appropriate state and federal authorities,” he said. “Beyond this, it would be inappropriate for me as Attorney General to comment on any specific matter at this time.”
A number of DeJoy’s employees reportedly felt pressured to make contributions to GOP candidates, according to The Washington Post. Two “familiar with New Breed’s financial and payroll systems” told the outlet that Dejoy would get staffers bigger bonuses to off-set the costs.
“Louis was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party,” said David Young, the now-retired former director of human resources. “He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses. When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else.”
The other source on the reimbursement, bonuses detail–speaking on condition of anonymity our of fear of retaliation–said Dejoy got more compensation for employees who made political contributions.
“He would ask employees to make contributions at the same time that he would say, ‘I’ll get it back to you down the road,'” the person said.
Five former employees said Dejoy or his aides urged them to make contributions and attend fundraisers at his mansion in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Although it can be permissible to encourage employees to make donations, reimbursing them for those contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal election law, known as a straw-donor scheme. https://t.co/M8kT6CFDP0 pic.twitter.com/tylREyI7F4
— Michelle Ye Hee Lee (@myhlee) September 6, 2020
Fun fact: running this sort of “straw donor” scheme was what sent Dinesh D’Souza to prison. https://t.co/MOADKIzVsV
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) September 6, 2020
There are limits to campaign contributions. Straw donors are a way of getting around it.
DeJoy spokesman Monty Hagler told the outlet that Dejoy was never told by these employees of any pressure, and “he regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason.” The spox said Dejoy got legal advice from a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission “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.”
Hagler did not directly talk about the claim DeJoy reimbursed employees who made contributions. He referred to a statement saying the Postmaster General thinks he “always followed campaign fundraising laws and regulations.”
[Image via TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
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