Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, whose duties have little to do with the U.S. Postal Service, ordered prospective USPS Board of Governors members "to 'kiss the ring' before they were confirmed and issued demands agency officials believed were 'illegal,'" according to a recently-former vice chairman of the USPS board of governors, The New York Times reports.
The stunning accusations were made Thursday by recently former USPS Board of Governors vice-chair David Williams, who resigned in April. Williams also served as an Inspector General for the USPS for 13 years before joining the board of governors.
Williams "also told Congress he raised concerns about Louis DeJoy ahead of his hiring as Postmaster General," and "cited his concerns about the postmaster general as one reason for resigning."
Mnuchin "politicized" the Postal Service, Williams also says, and adds that the Treasury Secretary also ordered the removal of countless mailboxes across the United States.
"The blue boxes were maybe the most interesting of all," Williams told the Congressional Progressive Caucus at a hearing Thursday. Slate's Jordan Weissmann posted a transcript posted of Williams' remarks.
"Those were not part of ongoing plans," Williams said of the removal of the mailboxes. "To my knowledge, as a matter of fact, Secretary Mnuchin wanted that done," Williams testified.
"His study of the Postal Service asked that it be done. I asked the Postal Service about it, and they said it wouldn't save anything," Williams said, meaning removing the iconic blue mail collection boxes wouldn't save the USPS any money.
"And there would be no reason to remove those. I'm not sure how it went from that, several weeks ago, to where they're being uprooted from all over."
Calling it "very odd," Williams also addressed the removal of what is slated to be 671 mail sorting machines, noting that "you don't save money" by breaking them down.