B-4703, JULY 21, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 88

B-4703: Jul 21, 1939

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

SET-OFF - RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS - EMBEZZLEMENTS - EMPLOYEE'S UNSUPPORTED DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY WHERE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS REPORTED THE FACTS IN CONNECTION WITH DEPREDATIONS ON THE MAILS TOGETHER WITH A FINDING THAT A FORMER POSTAL EMPLOYEE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS SUSTAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT. A PRIMA FACIE CASE IS ESTABLISHED WHICH MAY NOT BE OVERCOME BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE'S MERE CATEGORICAL DENIAL WITH NO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT THEREOF. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26. AS FOLLOWS: THIS OFFICE IS IN RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 29. ON WHICH THE TOTAL AMOUNT DUE IS $1. WHICH AMOUNT THAT OFFICE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DEDUCTED FROM THE AMOUNT DUE HIM AS REFUND.

B-4703, JULY 21, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 88

SET-OFF - RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS - EMBEZZLEMENTS - EMPLOYEE'S UNSUPPORTED DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY WHERE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS REPORTED THE FACTS IN CONNECTION WITH DEPREDATIONS ON THE MAILS TOGETHER WITH A FINDING THAT A FORMER POSTAL EMPLOYEE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS SUSTAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT, A PRIMA FACIE CASE IS ESTABLISHED WHICH MAY NOT BE OVERCOME BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE'S MERE CATEGORICAL DENIAL WITH NO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT THEREOF, AND THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE THE UNITED STATES MAY BE SET OFF AGAINST AN AMOUNT OTHERWISE DUE THE FORMER EMPLOYEE FROM THE RETIREMENT FUND.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, JULY 21, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 26, 1939 ( RET:ABR:DMM CSR-435005), AS FOLLOWS:

THIS OFFICE IS IN RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION FOR REFUND OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, IN THE CASE OF ANDREW DAHLBERG, A FORMER CLERK IN THE POST OFFICE, NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT, ON WHICH THE TOTAL AMOUNT DUE IS $1,595.06.

A LETTER HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE CHIEF INSPECTOR, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, IN REGARD TO A CLAIM AGAINST MR. DAHLBERG IN THE AMOUNT OF $85.00, FOR DEPREDATIONS ON THE MAILS, WHICH AMOUNT THAT OFFICE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DEDUCTED FROM THE AMOUNT DUE HIM AS REFUND. MR. DAHLBERG HAS BEEN FULLY ADVISED OF THE CLAIM FILED AGAINST HIM, AND UNDER DATE OF JUNE 7, 1939, OBJECTED TO THE PROPOSED SET-OFF OF $85.00 ON SETTLEMENT OF HIS INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

ALL CORRESPONDENCE PERTAINING TO THIS CLAIM IS FORWARDED HEREWITH FOR VERIFICATION AND ISSUANCE OF APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS.

IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL RETURN THE INCLOSED CORRESPONDENCE WITH YOUR REPLY, WHICH THIS OFFICE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE IN DUPLICATE.

IN LETTER TO YOU DATED MAY 31, 1939 (133008-D LH:JA), THE POSTMASTER GENERAL REPORTED AS OLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF THIS OFFICE DATED APRIL 7, 1939, REQUESTING THAT THE RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS OF ANDREW DAHLBERG, FORMER CLERK, NEW BRITAIN, CONN., BE WITHHELD UNTIL FURTHER ADVISED. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT DAHLBERG HAS $1,102.12, WITHOUT INTEREST, TO HIS CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT FUND.

DAHLBERG WAS ARRESTED ON APRIL 6, 1939, FOR THE THEFT OF A TEST LETTER AND ON APRIL 17, 1939, ON A PLEA OF GUILTY, WAS SENTENCED TO SERVE FOUR MONTHS IN THE NEW HAVEN COUNTY JAIL, NEW HAVEN, CONN., AND PLACED ON PROBATION FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS THEREAFTER.

AS THE RESULT OF DAHLBERG'S DEPREDATIONS, THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY INDEMNITY ON AN INSURED PARCEL, THE PARTICULARS OF WHICH ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CASE NO. 35740-P; INSURED NO. 63723; PAID BY REGISTERED MAILS, SEPTEMBER 16, 1938; INDEMNITY PAID, $85.00.

INVESTIGATION HAS DISCLOSED THAT DAHLBERG HAD ACCESS TO THIS PARCEL AND NOTHING WAS DEVELOPED TO INDICATE THE PARCEL WAS MISTREATED BY ANYONE ELSE. IN VIEW OF THIS AND SINCE DAHLBERG IS A KNOWN THIEF, IT IS BELIEVED THAT HIS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS LOSS HAS BEEN REASONABLY ESTABLISHED.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL SET OFF $85.00 OF THE AMOUNT DUE DAHLBERG FROM THE RETIREMENT FUND AND DEPOSIT IT AS MISCELLANEOUS POSTAL RECEIPTS, SYMBOL 47001. THE REMAINDER DUE HIM MAY BE RELEASED INSOFAR AS THIS OFFICE IS CONCERNED. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF THE ACTION TAKEN.

THE INSPECTOR WHO INVESTIGATED THE CASE REPORTED ON MAY 6, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

3. ATTENTION IS CALLED TO MY REPORT IN CASE NO. 35740-P, DATED SEPTEMBER 12, 1938. THAT CASE WAS JACKETED ON THE ALLEGED RIFLING OF INSURED PARCEL NO. 63723, MAILED MAY 14, 1938, AT HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT, BY H. A. GERBER, 11 ASYLUM STREET. THE PARCEL WAS ADDRESSED TO E. E. JONES, 440 MAIN STREET, NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT. THE INVESTIGATION OF THAT CASE DISCLOSES THAT THE SENDER IS A REPUTABLE JEWELER AND ENCLOSED FOUR ITEMS IN THIS INSURED PACKAGE. THE PACKAGE WAS MAILED PERSONALLY BY MR. GERBER, AND WHEN MAILED WAS SECURED BY A RED TWINE USED BY HIM IN SECURING PACKAGES BEFORE MAILING.

4. THE ADDRESSEE OF THIS PACKAGE IS A REPUTABLE MERCHANT AT NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT. INVESTIGATION DISCLOSES THAT THIS PARCEL SHOULD HAVE ARRIVED AT NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT, IN TIME FOR DELIVERY ON THE SECOND TRIP OF FOOT CARRIER OWENS ON MARCH 15, 1938. THE PARCEL WAS NOT DELIVERED UNTIL THE THIRD TRIP ON MARCH 16, DELIVERY BEING MADE BY CARRIER OWENS. THE WIFE OF THE ADDRESSEE IMMEDIATELY PROTESTED THE APPEARANCE OF THE PACKAGE, AND EXAMINATION OF THE CONTENTS SHOWED THAT AN ENGAGEMENT RING, SET WITH A 1 1/3 CARET DIAMOND, WAS MISSING. THE ORIGINAL VALUATION OF THIS DIAMOND RING WAS $105, BUT BOTH THE SENDER AND ADDRESSEE HAVE AGREED TO A SETTLEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $85. THE OTHER THREE ITEMS ENCLOSED IN THIS PACKAGE HAD A VALUE OF $9.50.

5. THERE IS NOTHING IN MY INVESTIGATION OF CASE NO. 35740-P, OR THIS CASE, WHICH WOULD INDICATE DISHONESTY ON THE PART OF CARRIER OWENS. I AM CONVINCED THAT HE DID NOT RIFLE THIS PACKAGE.

6. THE POSTMASTER AT NEW BRITAIN ADVISES ME THAT THE TIME RECORDS OF HIS OFFICE SHOW THAT ANDREW DAHLBERG WAS ON DUTY ON MARCH 15, 1938, FROM 6:43 A.M. TO 11:59 A.M., AND FROM 1:49 P.M. TO 4:30 P.M. DAHLBERG WORKED IN THE CITY SECTION FROM 8:30 A.M. TO 9:45 A.M. ON THAT DATE, AND IT WAS DURING THIS TIME THIS INSURED PARCEL SHOULD HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY DISTRIBUTED TO OWEN. THE TIME RECORDS SHOW THAT DAHLBERG WORKED ON MARCH 16, 1938, FROM 6:43 A.M. TO 11:56 A.M. AND FROM :47 P.M. TO 4:45 P.M. ALL OF THIS TIME WAS IN THE CITY SECTION UNTIL 2:45 P.M. THIS WOULD HAVE GIVEN DAHLBERG THE NECESSARY OPPORTUNITY TO RESTORE THIS PARCEL TO CARRIER OWENS FOR DELIVERY ON THE AFTERNOON TRIP OF MARCH 16, 1938.

IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONCERNED HAS REPORTED THE FACTS AND AN ADMINISTRATIVE FINDING THAT CLAIMANT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LOSS SUSTAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT. THE CLAIMANT HAS DENIED RESPONSIBILITY BUT HAS SUBMITTED NO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT THEREOF. A MERE CATEGORICAL DENIAL IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRIMA FACIE CASE ESTABLISHED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT AND FINDING.

IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT AN AMOUNT DUE THE UNITED STATES FROM A CLAIMANT MAY BE SET OFF AGAINST AN AMOUNT OTHERWISE DUE CLAIMANT FROM THE RETIREMENT FUND. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 161, AND THE AUTHORITIES THEREIN CITED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROPER DISBURSING OFFICER SHOULD BE INSTRUCTED TO DRAW A CHECK TO THE ORDER OF THE TREASURER FO THE UNITED STATES FOR $85, TO BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS POSTAL RECEIPTS, SYMBOL 47001. THE BALANCE IN THE RETIREMENT FUND TO THE CREDIT OF ANDREW DAHLBERG MAY BE PAID TO HIM IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTION.

AS REQUESTED THE CORRESPONDENCE ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER IS RETURNED AND AN EXTRA COPY OF THIS LETTER IS ENCLOSED.