By BRYAN ANDERSON, Associated Press/Report for America
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Wake County’s District Attorney’s Office has decided not to pursue a criminal investigation into allegations by former employees of U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that he reimbursed them for political donations prior to taking government office.
DeJoy, the former CEO of North Carolina-based New Breed Logistics, was accused last year by some of his former employees of encouraging them to make political donations to candidates and then reimbursing them through bonuses. DeJoy has called the claim “outrageous” and denied any wrongdoing.
The advocacy group Common Cause NC cited the former employees’ claims, which were included in a Washington Post report, in a complaint to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, sparking the review by the Wake County prosecutor.
“We’re taking no further action after having reviewed campaign finance reports and state elections that might have been impacted over a period of time,” said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. “We do not intend to open a criminal investigation.”
She added that her office’s decision “does not cut off any potential federal investigation into the matter.”
DeJoy left as CEO after XPO Logistics acquired his company in 2014. Between 2000 and 2014, more than 100 employees donated over $610,000 to GOP candidates supported by DeJoy and his family, records show. Then-candidate Thom Tillis got $190,000 from 35 workers during his successful bid for U.S. Senate in 2014.
Freeman noted she did not believe her office had jurisdiction to examine the matter, as it was more a matter of federal election law.
“Our office’s authority would be only over any contributions to state candidates or violations of state campaign finance law,” Freeman said. “Our review of what we believe to be pertinent, state campaign finance reports, did not disclose sufficient information to warrant a criminal investigation.”
The U.S. Department of Justice and Common Cause NC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is illegal to reimburse employees as a way of avoiding federal campaign contribution limits.
Freeman said her office did not formally announce the decision to reporters at the time it was reached around the end of 2020. The Raleigh News & Observed first reported the decision on Monday.
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Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
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