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Postal inspector general retires amid accusations of fraud, waste

The Postal Service Board of Governors appointed a new inspector general Tuesday to replace Karla Corcoran, who announced her immediate retirement the same day.

David Williams, who will take over the job immediately, has served at different times as IG for the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Treasury Department.

During the past few months Corcoran, who was appointed in 1997, had faced accusations of mismanagement of resources and misuse of funds. Some of the accusations were grounded in whistleblower reports about IG employees building gingerbread houses, dressing up like the 1970s-era disco group The Village People and performing stripteases during work hours, with requirements from Corcoran that they deliver videotapes chronicling these events to the IG. These allegations led to calls for her ouster, and a request for an investigation by the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

According to Grassley, the PCIE report confirmed the accusations against Corcoran.

"The PCIE findings are stunning," Grassley said in a statement released after the retirement announcement. "The PCIE found that the IG followed a pattern and practice of unprofessional conduct in her management; the IG used questionable judgment in areas within her discretion; the IG expended taxpayer money extravagantly; and, the IG engaged in personnel practices that were either questionable or not in accord with USPS policy."

For Gene DelPolito, president of the Association for Postal Commerce, Corcoran's retirement was long overdue.

"People were just waiting for some shoe to drop and obviously it did," DelPolito said. "Here is the person who is supposed to be in charge of abuse, fraud and waste, and what she does is she abuses her privilege as the IG. A great deal of activity was spent pursuing trivial pursuits, chasing activities that were of no real significant consequence in terms of how well the Postal Service is run or how efficient it's run."

But DelPolito did have some kind parting words about Corcoran.

"She was a good organizer. She got something up from the ground when there was nothing, and she did put together a good staff," he said. "But she is a classic example of someone who stayed too long in their position."