President Joe Biden moved to replace U.S. Postal Service Chairman Ron Bloom, an ally of embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, following a tumultuous period marked by sluggish mail delivery and anxiety over mail-in ballots.
The administration has “continued concerns” about DeJoy’s leadership, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing. Psaki cited reports of financial conflicts by DeJoy, a former trucking executive. She said the president cannot fire the postmaster general, with any such move up to the board.
Biden selected Daniel Tangherlini, a former administrator of the General Services Administration, and Derek Kan, a former under secretary in the Transportation Department, to serve on the USPS board, the White House said in an announcement on Friday. Both nominees need Senate approval.
DeJoy, a Republican and donor to former President Donald Trump, attracted criticism as mail slowed ahead of last year’s elections that featured heavy use of mailed ballots. DeJoy defended changes as necessary to improve a money-losing organization, and the Postal Service says delivery times have since improved.
DeJoy purchased as much as $305,000 in bonds from Brookfield Asset Management Inc. where Bloom is a managing partner, the Washington Post reported in August. Bloom said he had no knowledge of the purchases, according to the newspaper.
The paper also reported DeJoy-controlled companies leased four office buildings to global shipping behemoth XPO Logistics, DeJoy’s former company. XPO pays DeJoy more than $2 million annually in rent, The Washington Post reported.
DeJoy has fully complied with ethics provisions, Dave Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, said in an email.
Postal Service Inspector General Kathy Whitcomb in February told lawmakers DeJoy had followed guidance from postal ethics staff, set up screening arrangements to avoid potential conflicts, and divested appropriately.
Tangherlini is to replace Bloom and Kan will succeed John Barger, according to the White House.
The governing board elected Bloom chairman in February. He has been on the board since 2019.
Bloom served in the administration of President Barack Obama, helping to lead auto industry restructuring following the 2008 recession, according to the website.