Testifying in a federal lawsuit, a postal union leader said managers at San Antonio’s main post office deceived a Democratic congressman during his visit this summer by rushing tens of thousands of delayed mail pieces to Austin and “dressing up” mail-sorting machines that already had been dismantled.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, toured the U.S. Postal Service plant on the Northeast Side in August to address cuts ordered by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that have caused delays in mail delivery ahead of the November election.
Even as an unprecedented number of voters are requesting mail-in ballots during a deadly pandemic, President Donald Trump has claimed repeatedly but without evidence that such voting would lead to a fraudulent election.
Carlos Barrios, the union leader, said in a sworn affidavit on Sept. 2 that shortly before Castro’s visit, managers “decided to hide” up to 54,000 pieces of delayed mail that were “lying on the sorting floor” by sending the bundles to a plant in Austin. Most of the mail was several weeks late, and some of it had been delayed for months, he said.
Barrios, who has worked in the postal service for 33 years, also testified that managers at the plant “dressed up” two mail-sorting machines that already had been destroyed, then falsely told Castro during the tour that they were functioning.
“Management told the mechanics to make the machines look good,” Barrios said in the affidavit. “They even staged mail containers next to the machine, which would serve no purposes besides giving the implicit impression that the machine would, at some point, be used to process that mail.”