Postal audit tells of cocaine sales on Capitol Hill


WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Postal Service audit accuses a clerk at the House Post Office of selling drugs in congressional office buildings and says his supervisor was a major customer.

The audit says the clerk and two other postal clerks admitted taking a combined $28,585 from postal funds under their control.

The U.S. attorney's office in Washington is investigating the findings, as well as possible embezzlement by a fourth clerk, according to House sources who asked not to be identified.

The four clerks have been fired, House officials said. The audit didnot cover activities by the fourth clerk.

The postal investigators said a clerk with a personal drug problem admitted "he would generally bring at least five $25 packages of cocaine to the post office to sell," both to employees and to others.

The inspection report quoted the clerk as saying his only steady customer was his supervisor.

The audit said the drug-selling clerk had a $13,997 shortage. The other two clerks had shortages of $10,303 and $4,285.

The House Post Office is a contract agency of the U.S. Postal Service and operates facilities in several House buildings and the Capitol.

The audit criticized the House Post Office for allowing clerks to retain too much money for too long and recommended that clerks retain no more than $100 cash.

House officials said House Postmaster Robert V. Rota instituted new controls after the audit, including the $100 limit and monthly unannounced audits of all employee accounts.

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