By Patrick Terpstra and Justin Gray – August 13, 2015
WASHINGTON — Four postal workers in the Atlanta area and hundreds nationwide have been accused of cheating on time sheets and are still getting paid, an investigation by Channel 2 Action News uncovered.
Thirty-six postmasters are on the list of employees investigated for time and attendance fraud, including one postmaster in the Atlanta metro area.
Channel 2 Action News obtained the list of alleged time cheats through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General recorded 275 cases of potential time and attendance fraud since 2012.
The accused are a tiny fraction of the postal service’s 617,000 employees, but they are allegedly stealing money from an agency struggling to stay solvent and looking for Congress to help it survive.
“Very few postal employees actually commit time and attendance fraud,” said Bill Siemer, who investigates fraud cases at the Inspector General’s Office.
“I saw one instance where a manager was actually taking a lot of sick time, not because they were sick, but because they were using all the time to run an offline business,” he said.
The Inspector General’s Office says privacy laws prevent disclosing precisely where the accused postal employees work, whether they were found guilty and what sort of punishment they faced.
In May, the postal service raised rates for first class mail package service. Forever Stamps remained 49 cents.