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Postal Service, IG at odds on whether top exec’s $306K compensation package over legal limit

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A polite tiff has broken out between the U.S. Postal Service and its inspector general over whether a pension should count in determining whether a top officer’s compensation exceeded a legal pay cap.

The officer, who was not named in the report, but whom sources identified as Paul Vogel, president of digital solutions, made a total last year of $306,250 in annual salary, pension and bonus, IG auditors found in a newly released report. That would be well above the maximum pay limit of $276,840 for USPS executives holding specially designated “critical” positions, according to the audit, which said the Postal Service is misinterpreting the 2006 law that set the cap.

USPS management begged to differ, saying that the officer’s $131,952 annual pension should not have been considered part of the pay package. According to the audit, however, the officer’s employment agreement defined “basic salary” as the pension plus a yearly salary of $113,048 for a total of $245,000. On top of that, the officer received a $61,250 performance bonus last year. The Postal Service and the inspector general’s office have agreed to seek an outside advisory opinion on the issue from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“We are confident that the compensation that we paid to our senior executives did not exceed the statutory compensation caps,” USPS spokesman Mark Saunders said in an email.

For the record, the USPS Board of Governors notified Congress and the Office of Personnel Management in January that five positions–including those of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett and Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan–were considered critical, according to the report. But auditors also found that the board gave three other posts the same designation without making the required notifications.

And for anyone who’s counting, the report noted that two former top USPS officials are in line for deferred executive retention bonuses well into six figures. For former Postmaster General John Potter, now president and CEO of the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority, the balance was $786,301 as of the end of December. For former Chief Information Officer Ross Philo, the total was $642,999.

[This post has been updated with additional information.]


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  1. BigBrother Says:
    October 25th, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    AIG come to mind anyone?

  2. scott Says:
    October 25th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    The USPS is BILLIONS in the hole and the shitheads stearing the ship are giving themselves 61k in bonuses?!?!? This is why this whole country is in trouble!!!!!

  3. Babalu Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 12:53 am

    More Postal pigs at the trough.

  4. Pat Kern Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 6:17 am

    When PTFs were “promoted” to NTFT they took a 40% pay cut. Obviously these execs are rewarded for mismanaging the Post Office by slowing the mail and and achieving an $11 billion debt. One would think they would be fearful of losing their jobs for such poor performance. My suggestion is simple…no more bonuses until the Postal Service turns a profit.

  5. Richee Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    The Romney way

  6. Bill Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Wow. I thought the BHO was the POTUS. Surprise

  7. ken Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    ALL FIELD managers, Postmasters DID NOT get pay raises for last year, this current year, and next year. The idiots at the top apparently don’t work for the same organization as I do. And it looks like our Postmaster organization really doesn’t know (highly probable) or doesn’t have the kahunas to say anything(definitely)

  8. dell Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    BONUS..WTH the post office is “losing” billions and they are handing out bonuses

  9. Zip Says:
    October 27th, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Interesting that the IG has a problem with $ like that when they are spending money unnecessarily because they don’t want to sit in the same offices as the USPS_IS personnel. Makes you wonder who is paying attention to their spending!

  10. Hartford employee Says:
    October 28th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    They can all go to hell !!! The USPS is public service company !
    Not private corp like the other CEO thieves w stock options n thieves of employee pensions n people’s life savings !!!!!!!
    Homeland terrorists !!!!!!!!