The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the removal from federal service of a postal carrier who appeared to buy marijuana from the postal truck of a co-worker while on duty.
The employee began working for the U.S. Postal Service in 1989. At the time of his removal, he worked as a city carrier at the Fort Dearborn Station in Chicago. His removal was the result of a Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation revealing that a co-worker, another letter carrier, was selling marijuana from a Postal Service vehicle.
Surveillance video of the co-worker’s assigned Postal Service vehicle showed the employee and several other Postal Service employees engaged in alleged narcotics transactions with the co-worker while on duty. The co-worker later admitted to selling marijuana from his Postal Service vehicle. Six other letter carriers who were observed in the surveillance video admitted to purchasing marijuana from him. The employee denied purchasing marijuana from him while on duty.
The surveillance video of the co-worker’s Postal Service vehicle showed two interactions between the co-worker and the employee. The first was filmed while the employee was on duty and in uniform. The video showed the co-worker placing an item in the cup holder of his Postal Service vehicle. The employee entered the vehicle 20 minutes later and took what appeared to be money from his pocket and handed it to the co-worker, who pointed to the cup holder in which he previously placed the unknown item. The employee removed the item, which appeared to be in a small plastic bag, and left the vehicle. After the employee’s departure, the co-worker counted what appeared to be a sum of money.