Ga. senator demanding action over post office problems exposed by CBS46

Sen. Warnock responds after a CBS46 investigation uncovered multiple reports of missing mail and check washing at the Duluth Post Office.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2022 at 6:57 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A Georgia senator is demanding action after a CBS46 investigation exposed multiple reports of missing mail and check washing at a metro Atlanta post office earlier this year.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, asking him to not only investigate CBS46′s findings, but also to provide a full briefing of his work to address the reported issues.

Problems have been plaguing the Duluth post office for months. In 2020, a former postal worker plead guilty to stealing gift cards and cash addressed to at least 15 Duluth residents.

In February, a master key that services mailboxes in two Duluth zip codes was stolen from a postal worker.

In March, CBS46 investigative reporter Rachel Polansky spoke with a Duluth resident who dropped two checks inside a blue box outside the Duluth Post Office on McClure Bridge Road. Both checks were altered - the payee and the amounts were changed. A $73 check was re-written to $2,000. A $24 check changed to $1,165. Both were cashed.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Postal Inspection...
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, asking him to not only investigate CBS46′s findings, but also to provide a full briefing of his work to address the reported issues.(Rachel Polansky)

Another resident told Polansky her passport was stolen from an envelope she sent priority and dropped off inside the Duluth Post Office . Duluth Police tells CBS46 Investigates 20 mail-related reports have been filed with their office, over the last seven months.

“Transparency is so important, which is why I wrote the letter to the chief postal inspector,” Warnock told CBS46 investigative reporter Rachel Polansky. “At the local level, we need transparency.”

In his letter, Warnock also asked Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale to respond to a number of questions, including what steps his agency is taking to prevent mail theft and check-washing going forward.

“They work for the people of Georgia,” Warnock said. “They work for the American people and we ought to be able to reasonably expect that we’ll get clear information about something as serious as peoples’ documents.”

A previous CBS46 investigation uncovered that mail-related complaints are rarely investigated.

Of the 299,020 complaints the U.S. Postal Inspection Service received the first year of the pandemic, less than 0.5-percent of them or 1,090 resulted in mail theft investigations. These are the most updated numbers that the agency has put out.

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