Postmaster General Louis DeJoy faced numerous conflicts of interest because of his and his family's investments in a number of companies closely tied to the U.S. Postal Service, new documents revealed.
Documents detailing DeJoy's investments showed that the postmaster general had conflicts of interest relating to XPO Logistics, where he served as a chief executive, and 13 other major companies that have relationships with the Postal Service, NBC News reported Thursday.
The documents were obtained by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in Washington D.C., through a Freedom of Information Act request that was ultimately fulfilled by court order.
NBC News said DeJoy initially recused himself from decision-making related to those companies, fully divesting himself of them under public pressure in August 2020 — months after he became postmaster general.
The Postal Service's Office of Ethics concluded a 60-day review on Aug. 14, 2020, and maintained DeJoy acted in compliance with ethics regulations and did not recuse himself or divest because of outside pressure.
DeJoy and two trusts he managed held substantial investments in companies including AT&T, CVS, Verizon, UnitedHealth, Lockheed Martin, Capital One, Discover Financial Services, Dominion Energy, Honeywell International, IBM, Regions Bank, Travelers Insurance, and JPMorgan Chase, according to an August 2020 holdings disclosure, NBC News reported.
According to two letters in the documents, DeJoy seemingly began the formal recusal process for a dozen companies and XPO Logistics in July and JPMorgan Chase in August.
NBC News said it was unclear whether DeJoy was involved in Postal Service decision-making regarding those companies before he started that process.
Federal code stipulates that a federal employee cannot hold stocks with aggregate market value of more than $15,000 in any company without recusing or divesting themselves from it.
DeJoy and his family's investments in each of those 13 companies exceeded the limit, according to the documents, which did not specify the actual amounts.
CREW President Noah Bookbinder said the documents raise concerns that DeJoy could have taken advantage of his position in the months before he recused himself.
Bookbinder said that DeJoy recusing himself from decision making regarding the agency's relationship with these companies was not sufficient.
"Everybody knows that he has these interests," Bookbinder said. "And so even then there are going to be potentially incentives, even if he’s not in the room, for others to make decisions that could benefit him."
In June, DeJoy confirmed that the FBI was investigating campaign fundraising activity at New Breed Logistics (now XPO Logistics) but denied wrongdoing.
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