In case you missed it, Associated Press published a fascinating story earlier this week that provides a laundry list of some of the ways in which Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and his wife, former North Carolina DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, have spread their cash around in recent years. The story (“Postal chief and Trump donor Louis DeJoy has long leveraged connections, dollars”) includes details of the well-heeled pair’s political and charitable giving – giving that seemed regularly to coincide with some sort of benefit finding its way back to the Greensboro-based family.
See, for example, this excerpt dealing with a topic much in the news of late – potentially favorable treatment for well-connected college-aged children:
In one instance, DeJoy’s son, Andrew, secured a slot on Duke University’s tennis team in 2014 while his parents wrote a series of large checks to the school’s athletic department.
The team was ranked 14th in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Assn. and drew a host of top national and international prospects. But Andrew DeJoy was not one of them when he joined as a walk-on freshman months after the season started.
“It was a dream of mine since I was very little, but I wasn’t expecting to play,” Andrew DeJoy said in an interview published by the school’s athletic department in 2015. “I just emailed the coach and said I was willing to work hard over the summer if there was spot. Luckily … in the fall, things just worked out.”
In the years before Andrew DeJoy enrolled, the family’s foundation donated several thousand dollars a year to Duke. But in 2014 they escalated their giving with a $737,000 contribution, according to tax records. The money helped finance the Blue Devil Tower, a massive glass-encased addition to the school’s football stadium, which includes the DeJoy Family Club, a “first-class” banquet hall overlooking the field with space for 600 people.
During Andrew DeJoy’s second year on the team, his family gave another $462,000 to Duke. The donations continued during the rest of his tenure at the school, totaling at least $2.2 million.
Duke athletic department spokesman Art Chase declined to comment. A representative of the family’s foundation did not respond to a request for comment.
Of course, even if there was some kind of explicit or “wink and a nod” quid pro quo here as the events strongly hint, it would be far from the first time that a wealthy or well-connected parent took such action and wouldn’t, in and of itself, be that giant of a deal (unless, that is, you were a talented tennis player who got left off the team).
Seen, however, in the context of an extremely controversial and high-powered public official – a man under fire for potentially taking public action with ulterior political motives and who serves under a president who has made nepotism and convoluted, self-serving deals two of his signatures for decades – the story amounts to one more troubling brick in what appears to be a disturbingly crooked wall.
Click here to read the full story.