Former postal worker accused of throwing away mail in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - The U.S Postal Service is investigating a newly hired postal worker who was seen throwing away mail he was supposed to deliver in San Jose. He has since resigned.

Postal Service officials aren't saying much about who the carrier is - only that he worked out of the post office in the Willow Glen neighborhood.

They say the mail carrier was on the job less than a week when he tossed packages and letters into a dumpster along the business route he was assigned.

"Somebody saw him do it, reported it, and soon we found out about it. We checked it out," said Gus Ruiz, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, "His only defense was too much mail for him."

"As a carrier, you get a buggy, dollies, all that so how's it too much?" asked Gregory Porter who is a courier for a private service which often delivers legal documents.

He says mail service is vital to many, "It's mind boggling. Why would you do that?"

The postal service says it has retrieved all the mail the carrier threw away Monday, but acknowledged it doesn't know if all the mail he carried on previous days was delivered to the right place.

"When you have one anomaly, and this is really what it is, it tarnishes everything." said Ruiz.

"I was pretty upset that a local carrier is dumping mail," said Andy Goldberg , owner of Gallery Framing and resident of the Willow Glen neighborhood.

Goldberg says mail is sacred communication and that his livelihood depends on it. He's now wondering if his mail was among what was tossed.

"I have no reason to believe there's not something missing. In fact, I am waiting for payment from a customer. I'm a little surprised that I haven't got it," he said.

The Postal Service says it's proud of its tradition and trust people have in it. Officials say the carrier now faces charges of discarding, tampering and damaging federal property.

"We take this very seriously. We've been delivering the mail since 1776, longer than this country has been around," said Ruiz.

This case is still under investigation.

If convicted, the former carrier faces a fine and or federal prison time of up to five years.