Carlin Sues to Get Job Back as Postal Chief
Paul N. Carlin, ousted as postmaster general in January, sued the Postal Service board of governors Friday to get his job back.
The board had accused Carlin of indecisiveness, but he charged in papers filed in U.S. District Court that he was thrown out because he would not go along with a plan to steer a multimillion-dollar contract for mail-sorting equipment to a company favored by at least one of the governors.
That governor, former board Vice Chairman Peter E. Voss, has pleaded guilty to taking money from a public relations firm hired by Recognition Equipment Inc. of Irving, Tex., as part of a scheme to ensure that Recognition Equipment got the job. The company has denied any knowledge of the kickbacks.
Carlin remains on the Postal Service payroll at $81,000, technically as a consultant to the board.
In his suit, he asked a federal judge to stop the governors from appointing a new postmaster general until his case is heard. Judge John H. Pratt scheduled a hearing for Monday on the request for a temporary restraining order.
Albert V. Casey, who took over from Carlin on Jan. 6, is leaving the job on Aug. 15 to assume a teaching position at Southern Methodist University.
The governors conducted interviews this week with applicants for the job, but no one has been selected yet for the $86,200 job.
July 7 Meeting
Board Secretary David Harris said a successor could be named as early as July 7, the date of the board’s next scheduled meeting.
Board members, testifying under oath, told the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee on Wednesday that Carlin was fired for indecisiveness and because of a general dissatisfaction with his performance.
“I’m not surprised at his (Carlin’s) interpretation” of events, John R. McKean, chairman of the postal board, said Wednesday after word of a possible suit began circulating.
“It is not correct that that was the reason for his firing,” McKean said. He added there was “ample evidence of dissatisfaction both in the board and in the Postal Service” with Carlin’s performance.
Former postal governor William J. Sullivan said in a separate affidavit that he thought Carlin was effective. “When some people disagreed with his decisions they refused to accept them and called him indecisive,” Sullivan wrote in a sworn statement submitted with Carlin’s suit.
Carlin said he began to feel pressure from governors Voss and Ruth O. Peters “almost immediately after I took office” in January, 1985. He said they wanted him to make decisions that would clear the way for a contract to go to Recognition Equipment Inc.
“What Mr. Carlin has stated in his affidavit is only part of the story,” Peters told the committee.