I buckled last night and watched the television news, but it was worth it for this. Kitsap Sun takes up the story:
The mailboxes along Old Belfair Highway in early 2010 were a little lighter than they should have been, federal prosecutors say, because a particular postal worker was pilfering mass mailings to burn in his home's outdoor fire pit.
Richard A. Farrell, 45, was sentenced Tuesday to three years' probation, 120 hours for community service and a $25 fine after pleading guilty to the crime of delaying or destruction of mail.
The article goes on to quote U.S. attorney Thomas Woods from court documents:
He did not fail to deliver the mail because of an injury or sickness, or because he was spending his time at another job. Rather, his actions can be explained only by extreme laziness and lack of consideration for his job responsibilities and his customers.
But here is the real gem:
The Belfair postmaster alerted law enforcement in January 2010 that instead of delivering a mass mailing, Farrell had filled recycle bins with them. Once federal investigators started trailing him in January and February, they found a pattern. He would conceal the mass mailings in his delivery vehicle, take it home, and "use the mail to start the fire, and then add mail to the fire to keep the fire going," Woods wrote.
Did you hear that? They found a pattern! Farrell would use the mail to start the fire, and then add mail to the fire to keep the fire going. Holy shit! Did a pocket calculator write that sentence? Go on Woods—tell us how it works! What else did he do? I love everything about this story.