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Pittenger calls for investigation of missing Myers Park mail

ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger has called for a federal investigation into reports of missing or mishandled mail in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte.

Pittenger’s office was told Friday that postal officials have identified the substitute mail carrier who neighbors said dumped a week’s worth of mail starting around March 24, according to Pittenger spokesman Jamie Bowers. The officials did not confirm reports that the substitute carrier was arrested.

Pittenger, who neighbors credited with prompting postal service action, has asked the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General in Washington, D.C., to conduct a full investigation. He has also asked the postal service to alert neighbors who might have missed deliveries that week.

“Neighbors need to know that they might not have received bills or other important documents, so they can take action now and avoid any penalties,” the Republican said in a statement.

Freda Sauter, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said she could not provide specific details as the case is still under investigation.

“The Postal Service condemns, in the strongest possible sense, behavior that jeopardizes the security and sanctity of the U.S. Mail or threatens to tarnish the reputation and high level of trust that the vast majority of our employees work so hard to uphold,” Sauter said.

Neighbors reported missing mail along Queens Road and sections of the Myers Park and Eastover neighborhoods. Their existing mail carrier had gone on vacation and the route was supposed to be handled by a substitute carrier, the neighbors said. In a circulated letter, community leaders said they were told by one postal worker that the substitute carrier had been arrested after being filmed looking through packages and discarding others in area dumpsters.

The federal postal officials told Pittenger’s office that the problem may extend beyond the one substitute carrier, but did not go into details, Bowers said.

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