Former postal carrier claims local mail is routinely thrown in the trash

A former postal carrier alleges tens of thousands of Indianapolis residents are not getting all of their mail and he has the proof to stand behind his claims.

Indianapolis

A former postal carrier alleges tens of thousands of Indianapolis residents are not getting all of their mail and he has the proof to stand behind his claims.

Keith Palmer said managers put so much pressure on carriers that some have no choice than to throw away mail to avoid overtime.

"If a route takes eight hours, they (postal carriers) are pressured to do it in seven hours, "said Palmer.

He said some carriers resort to tossing mail in the trash, literally. Palmer showed Fox59 photographs of mail piled up in dumpsters right beside post offices, including Brightwood, where he worked.

He said he found auto insurance cards, Comcast mail, and magazines in some dumpsters. In many dumpsters, he found Indianapolis Star Advertisements and coupons. Palmer reported what was happening to his boss.

"I had no choice, " said Palmer.

He was fired, although his bosses said it wasn't about reporting the alleged wrongdoing.  They said he had a bad attitude.

People like Christina Bartlett, out of Avon, didn't receive her magazines for weeks. She found out they were thrown out in a dumpster by her home.

"It's kind of strange, what are they doing in the dumpster? " asked Bartlett.  

Christina said she's furious that this mail is being dumped instead of being sent to her home.

"You are currently being paid so why are you cutting corners?" asked Bartlett.

Fox59 did its own investigation, but didn't find deliverable mail in five dumpsters near post offices.  We did find out that carriers were told about our investigation, though.
         
Fox59 contacted the United States Postal Service and they said this is all about a disgruntled employee, Keith Palmer, who just wants to put a black eye on the the postal service.

"The matters brought to your attention by Mr. Palmer were referred to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. An investigation was conducted by the OIG, and was subsequently closed as the allegations were unfounded."  

When Fox 59 forwarded our pictures and information to the office of the inspector general, Inspector Scott Pierce acknowledged he had concerns.

"While the Indy Star and coupons can be thrown away if there is no one living there, the Comcast, energy bills, insurance card mail all should have not been thrown away, " said Pierce.

In the meantime, Christina Bartlett is upset. She just wants her magazines and she said she is angry at the carriers who she feels threw them into a dumpster, instead of in her mailbox.

"I just don't understand somebody who has a job and is not doing it the best they can, " said Bartlett.

Fox 59 talked to several other postal carriers, who are working and retired. None of them told us they ever disposed of deliverable mail.

The post office said it is not tolerated and if a carrier is caught doing it, he or she can be fired.

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