Area residents may soon be receiving some overdue mail deliveries after a tip to the U.S. Postal Service led agents to some undelivered mail. Now, a Shawnee postal worker is under investigation.

Area residents may soon be receiving some overdue mail deliveries after a tip to the U.S. Postal Service led agents to some undelivered mail. Now, a Shawnee postal worker is under investigation.

U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeff Krafels said an active inquiry is underway.

“On Aug. 30, USPS OIG Special Agents out of our Oklahoma City office received an allegation that a postal employee was hoarding mail in Shawnee,” Krafels said. “On Sept. 2, our agents recovered the mail and are actively investigating the case.”

The employee allegedly responsible is currently in a non-duty status with the USPS, he said.

“The USPS OIG considers the allegations to be a very serious matter,” Krafels said. “When these types of allegations are made, USPS OIG Special Agents vigorously investigate these matters, as we did in this instance.”

Krafels said it is important to note that an allegation is merely an accusation.

“All persons are presumed innocent unless otherwise adjudicated by a court of law,” he said.

At this time, he said, no additional information is available for public release due to Privacy Act considerations and the ongoing status of the USPS OIG’s investigation.

“This type of alleged behavior within the Postal Service is not tolerated and the overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees, which serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals who would never consider engaging in any type of criminal behavior.”

The U.S. Postal Service employs more than 625,113 employees and is the largest civilian federal workforce in the country, he said.

Two agencies serve as watchdogs when it comes to keeping the Postal Service running smoothly and correctly: the USPS OIG and Postal Inspectors.

The difference is the Postal Inspectors handle the external criminal cases, Krafels said, and the OIG handles internal criminal cases.

USPS OIG

To protect the mail and to maintain the integrity of postal processes and personnel, the Postal Service relies on the investigative efforts of USPS OIG special agents.

“These special agents – federal law enforcement officers investigate internal crimes and fraud against the Postal Service,” he said. “Their efforts contribute to safeguarding the Postal Service’s revenue and assets and help deter postal crimes, ultimately helping to maintain a stable and sound Postal Service.”

Krafels said special agents stationed in 100 offices nationwide conduct investigations in the following program areas:

• Contract Fraud

• Financial Fraud

• Internal Mail Theft

• Official Misconduct

• Special Inquiries (includes whistleblower reprisal and workplace environment)

• Major Fraud

• Healthcare Provider Fraud

• Healthcare Claimant Fraud

Special agents also investigate bribery, kickbacks, extortion, conflicts of interest, and allegations against Postal Service executives. In addition, the Office of Investigations combats fraud and theft through the Countermeasures Directorate’s crime prevention efforts, Krafels said.

Postal Inspectors

The other agency, Postal Inspectors, enforces more than 200 federal laws in investigations of crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S. Mail, the postal system or postal employees, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service website, at uspis.gov.

Some areas of jurisdiction include: assaults; bombs; burglary; child exploitation; counterfeit stamps or money orders; electronic crimes; money laundering; destruction, obstruction and delay of mail; fraud and theft; among others.

Krafels said recovered mail will be rerouted and delivered.

To make a report about stolen mail, the website states to call police immediately, then call 1 (877) 876-2455 (press 3) or visit uspsoig.gov/hotline.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.