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Corruption Chronicles

USPS Execs Get Illegally High Salaries amid $11.6 Bil Loss

Billions of dollars in the hole, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has never the less managed to give top executives illegally high salary and compensation packages that should outrage American taxpayers.

It was just a few weeks ago that the USPS made headlines for its record $5.2 billion loss in the last quarter of the fiscal year, bringing total losses for 2011 to an astounding $11.6 billion. To illustrate the agency’s rapid rate of decline, during the same last-quarter period in 2010 the USPS reported a loss of $3.1 billion.

Yet top executives at the devastated agency are making a killing and violating a law that caps Postal Service employee compensation in the process. Known as the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the measure says employees cannot be paid more than $199,700 for calendar year 2011 with some “exceptions” allowing the amount to go as high as $230,700 for “bonuses or other awards” and $276,840 for “critical positions.”

It turns out that at least three USPS officers made more than the legal compensation limit for their respective work category, according to the agency’s inspector general. In a report made public this month, the Postal Service watchdog reveals that one of the officers, identified as the president of digital solutions, made a whopping $306,250 last year.  This exceeds even the “critical position” cap set by the federal law.  

Another employee, who was supposed to cap out at $199,700 because he/she didn’t meet any of the exception criteria, made $230,700 last year, according to the USPS Inspector General. A third agency officer, who also failed to qualify for the elevated salary, made $203,861 last year thanks to a $20,000 “incentive payment.”

Adding insult to injury, two former USPS officials will soon collect monstrous “deferred executive retention bonuses.” Former Postmaster General John Potter, currently president of the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority, will rake in $786,301 and former Chief Information Officer Ross Philo will get $642,999.

The USPS is well known for its financial scandals. Last summer, in the midst of an $8.3 billion deficit, the agency was exposed for blowing $400,000 on professional sports tickets, booze and fancy meals. The items were purchased by USPS managers and employees with special charge cards issued to U.S. government agencies. Previous to that, two separate audits found similar wrongdoing at the struggling federal agency which has been in serious financial debt for years.  

 

 


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