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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Robert Bernstock
The U.S. Postal Service has named a new top ethics officer in the aftermath of a series of embarrassing disclosures about a former key executive at the agency who was permitted to earn more than a quarter-million dollars in outside income and who was accused of steering contracts to former business associates.
Even as the U.S. Postal Service began sliding into the worst financial crisis in its history, some postal executives in recent years found a way to earn more money by resigning from their jobs and returning as highly paid contractors while doing essentially the same work.
The executive in charge of the U.S. Postal Service's $13 billion supply-management operation has acknowledged "cracks in the system," saying more than 30 percent of the agency's contracting-officer positions remained unfilled.
Records show that the U.S. postmaster general and his top officials gave investigators varying accounts about the decision to allow a top executive to retain his six-figure outside corporate jobs while working full time, earning more than $230,000 as president of shipping and mailing, for the U.S. Postal Service.
When the U.S. Postal Service's top marketing officer agreed to hire Goldman Sachs nearly two years ago without a written contract, top executives inside postal headquarters scrambled to make the unauthorized deal square with postal procurement rules.
The former $232,500-per-year president of shipping and mailing for the U.S. Postal Service regularly worked on outside corporate business while in the office, even enlisting his postal staff to schedule meetings and arrange for his private travel, postal investigators have found.
He told the inspector general's office that Mrs. Gibbons "covered her ears" and said she "didn't want to talk about the past."
Robert Bernstock, former president of shipping and mailing services, said during his interview that he did not know about the media and advertising group's accounting practices to split expenses between product and institutional budgets, but that he had meetings with Mr. Potter and Mr. Corbett about "attributing expenses to reflect the rise in the Postal Service's brand."