Local postal worker off the job after ballot application, political ads tossed in trash

Local postal worker accused of throwing away mail, including ballot application

PITTSBURGH — A local postal worker is off the job, accused of throwing away mail intended for Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood.

The United States Postal Service confirmed there was a mail-in ballot application among the dumped items, along with dozens of political advertisements.

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The discarded mail was found in a garbage can at Persad Center on Butler Street in Lawrenceville — the same place the postal worker delivers mail to.

“We needed to call the postal office to let them know,” said Carlos Torres, the interim executive director of the Persad Center.

Torres said he took quick action after his facilities manager found the mail in the trash can last week.

“This particular morning, he looked into the trash can right outside the main entrance of the building and noticed that there was mail that had not been delivered,” Torres said. “None of the mail belonged to us. We left it alone because we didn’t want to damage any evidence so to speak.”

Security cameras captured the postal worker doing the same thing more than once.

“Caught on video — the postal worker, who after delivering our mail, went back into their vehicle and took something out of their vehicle and put it in the trash. And this happened over a number of days,” Torres said.

Special Agent Scott Balfour, of the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, sent us the following statement:

“On Thursday afternoon, October 8, Special Agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) responded to a report of undelivered mail being found by a local citizen. USPS OIG Special Agents recovered several different classes of mail, including one ballot request and about two dozen political advertisements. The mail was intended for delivery in the Bloomfield area of Pittsburgh, and was already returned to the USPS and delivered to customers. The employee is currently in a non-duty, non-pay status. Once USPS OIG Special Agents conclude their investigation, the case will be presented for federal prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

“Voter security, making sure everyone gets the proper documents so they can exercise their right to vote is essential. So it is very concerning that this is happening. Not only on our property but also this time in our society,” Torres said.

Once the investigation is complete, the case will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal prosecution.

Concerns remain over mail-in ballots just weeks before Election Day