People who worked for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s former company were reportedly pressured to make political donations to Republican candidates and were reimbursed with bonus payments for doing so.
The Washington Post reported on Sunday that five people who worked at DeJoy’s former business, New Breed Logistics, claimed that either DeJoy or his aides would urge them to write checks and attend fundraisers at his 15,000-square-foot gated mansion adjacent to a Greensboro, North Carolina, country club.
DeJoy — who was known as a prominent GOP fundraiser prior to his appointment as Postmaster General in May — would host fundraising events at his mansion for Republicans running for the White House and Congress, which routinely raised $100,000 or more per event.
Two other employees familiar with New Breed’s financial and payroll systems told the Post that DeJoy would order bonuses to staffers who made the political contributions that he urged — a move that would be considered unlawful. Reimbursing employees for political contributions is a violation of North Carolina and federal election laws.
“Louis was a national fundraiser for the Republican Party. He asked employees for money. We gave him the money, and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses,” David Young, DeJoy’s longtime director of human resources, told the Post. “When we got our bonuses, let’s just say they were bigger, they exceeded expectations — and that covered the tax and everything else.”
Another former employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also told the Post that DeJoy ordered additional compensation for employees who had made political contributions and that he would instruct managers to give bonuses to specific individuals.
“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 former employee told the Post.
Monty Hagler, a spokesman for DeJoy, denied that the Postmaster General was aware that any of his former employees had felt pressured to make political donations toward Republican candidates, according to the Post.
The Post noted that Hagler did not provide a direct response to allegations that DeJoy would reimburse his employees who made contributions, but insisted that the Postmaster General “believes that he has always followed campaign fundraising laws and regulations.”
Hagler told the Post that DeJoy “sought and received 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.”
After saying that DeJoy “believes that all campaign fundraising laws and regulations should be complied with in all respects,” Hagler told the Post that he encouraged his employees and relatives “to be active in their communities, schools, churches, civic groups, sporting events and the politics that governs our nation.”
According to the Post, Hagler denied that DeJoy was ever notified by his former employees that they felt pressured into making political contributions and that “he regrets if any employee felt uncomfortable for any reason.”
North Carolina attorney general Josh Stein issued a statement following the Post’s report, which reiterated that it’s unlawful to reimburse people for making a political contributions, but declined to say whether an investigation into DeJoy’s alleged reimbursements to former employees will be launched.
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