Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to stealing mail from mailboxes

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Monroe County man pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Scranton, before Senior United States District Judge Edwin M. Kosik, to the charge of theft of mail.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Jacob Tanner, age 29, of East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, admitted to stealing mail in the Stroudsburg area in 2014.  The thefts were discovered after a number of Stroudsburg residents complained about missing, torn or discarded mail.  Tanner was observed on surveillance video removing mail from a mailbox outside a residence in Stroudsburg.  Postal Authorities later apprehended Tanner in possession of stolen mail in December 2014.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, Office of Postal Inspection Services, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. O’Hara.

Anyone who believes they may be a victim or have further information should contact Postal Inspector David Heinke, United States Postal Service, at 877-876-2455

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 5 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Vehicle upgrades a crucial investment, USPS CFO says

LLV fleetReplacing the Postal Service’s delivery fleet is necessary to the organization’s future, Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett told a congressional panel May 21.

New vehicles will ensure USPS is able to fulfill its obligation to provide prompt, reliable and efficient services for the nation, he said.

“In order to effectively meet the needs of our customers and employees, the Postal Service must invest in and maintain its existing infrastructure, and our delivery fleet is a critical component,” Corbett said.

The CFO testified before the House Government Operations Subcommittee, which oversees postal matters.

USPS wants to secure new right-hand drive vehicles to “accommodate a diverse mail mix, enhance safety, improve service, reduce emissions and produce savings,” he said.

The current fleet has about 210,000 vehicles. These include Long Life Vehicles (LLVs), which had a “planned useful life” of approximately 24 years when USPS acquired them.

The operational efficiency, safety and technology are very outdated, Corbett said.

“Our current delivery vehicles are rapidly nearing the end of their useful life and it is now time to move into the future with a new generation of vehicles that will better serve customers, employees and the American public,” Corbett said.

The CFO’s testimony will be posted to the Newsroom site.

Source: USPS News Link Story – Moving into the future

What really should have happened to Doug Hughes, the postal gyro-copter pilot…

We’ll have to file this one under “Headlines we wish we had been able to write”:

WASHINGTON – Today the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, US Postal Service & The Census, in partnership with the United States Postal Service, announced the release of a new commemorative stamp honoring Florida postal worker Doug Hughes, whose recent actions have brought unprecedented attention to the corrosive influence of money in our political system. Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Chair of the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service & the Census, issued the following statement.

“We are extremely pleased to honor Mr. Hughes and his daring, if unconventional, feat of aerial adventurism and civil disobedience, which highlighted dire lapses in our security — the security of our democracy from the undue influence of big money special interests. I’d also like to apologize for an earlier remark made by one of my colleagues, Committee Chairman Rep. Chaffetz, to the effect that Mr. Hughes, “should have been blown out of the air.” What really needs to be blown to bits is our current campaign finance system, which has only grown more unaccountable since the Supreme Court’s regrettable 2010 decision in Citizens United.” Continue reading

OIG Report Paints Bright Future for Postal Banking

From the American Postal Workers Union:
Clipboard0105/21/2015 – A report by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released May 21 outlines the next steps for implementing postal banking, in which post offices would offer basic financial services – providing affordable banking transactions to every zip code in the US, while strengthening the Postal Service.

The May 21 report titled, “The Road Ahead for Postal Financial Services,” states that expanding and enhancing existing financial services such as money orders, international money transfers, check cashing and bill payments could be accomplished without an act of Congress.

According to the OIG’s “conservative estimate,” this expansion could bring the Postal Service $1.1 billion in annual revenue within five years while serving  68 million Americans who either who don’t have bank accounts or who “rely on expensive services like payday lending and check cashing.” Some refer to these predatory businesses as “alternative financial services;” APWU President Mark Dimondstein calls them “legal loan sharks.”

While highlighting the impact postal banking would have on the financial health of the Postal Service, the OIG also recommends that the USPS focus on the affordability of the services it could provide.

Among the expanded offerings, post offices “could provide ATMs where recipients of government benefits could withdraw funds without paying a fee,” the report says.

Dimondstein praised the idea.  “It’s a no-brainer,” he said. “The Inspector General’s report confirms that the Postal Service can act now to provide consumers with affordable financial services while strengthening our trusted national treasure, the public Postal Service.

“We look forward to the day when people can get their checks cashed by their trusted neighborhood window clerk,” he said.

The APWU is a member of the Campaign for Postal Banking, a coalition of consumer, worker, financial reform, economic justice, community, civic, and faith-based groups that is organizing support for the concept. For more information, visit

Source: OIG Report Paints Bright Future for Postal Banking | APWU

NALC statement on OIG’s report regarding USPS financial services

The U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report today on “The Road Ahead for Postal Financial Services.” Below is a statement from Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALC-LOGOThe OIG’s report contains interesting observations and recommendations on ways the Postal Service can begin to serve the needs of 68 million adults in this country who have either no access or only limited access to basic financial services.

Of particular interest are services that the Postal Service could immediately pursue since it already has the authority to provide such services as money orders, post-office-to-post-office money transfers, bill payment, check cashing, international remittances and automatic teller machine (ATM) access. These basic services would give a much-needed option to those with no alternative available in their communities.

Because post offices are located everywhere—urban centers, suburbs and rural America; not simply located according to profit models—they are a ready-made network for people to come to, to obtain affordable financial services administered by highly trained, experienced and trusted public servants. This infrastructure includes more than 30,000 post offices and is the largest, best-distributed physical network in the country.

This model has been successful in many other countries and has the potential, according to the OIG, to generate at least $1.1 billion of revenue annually, which would allow the Postal Service to continue its innovative efforts.

The OIG’s recommendations are a good place to start, and we urge the Postal Service to take steps to immediately pursue these opportunities to fill the unmet needs of those in underserved communities.

Source: NALC statement on OIG’s report regarding USPS financial services | National Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO