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[GreenYes] Inadvertent Waste Reduction Hero for our time?


Title: [GreenYes] Inadvertent Waste Reduction Hero for our time?

Inadvertent waste reduction hero?

Steve' gets probation


Undelivered mail piled up at the home of letter carrier Steven M.
Padgett, 58, who covered routes in Apex.
Photo Courtesy of U.S. Attorney's Office

RALEIGH - Mailman Steven Padgett received a probationary sentence today
from a sympathetic judge for failing to deliver years worth of junk mail
on his Apex route.
"Today you'll get credit for a life well lived," U.S. District Judge
James C. Dever III told Padgett. Dever could have sent Padgett to prison
under federal sentencing guidelines; instead, he put him on three years'
probation, fined him $3,000 and ordered him to perform 500 hours of
community service.

Padgett, 58, apologized to the postal service and his family for the
crime of delaying and destroying mail.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Howard, said authorities
had notified hundreds of Padgett's customers about the criminal
proceeding, and only one responded. That single response, Howard, said,
was in support of Padgett.

Padgett built up good will on his route by handing out treats to dogs,
making sure packages were left on dry porches and introducing himself to
customers. Children called him "Mailman Steve."

The U.S. Postal Service never received a complaint about the missing
mail and didn't know anything was amiss until they were contacted by a
utility worker who noticed the excess mail at Padgett's house in
Raleigh. Postal inspectors went to the home this spring and discovered
the third-class mail piled in his garage and buried in his yard.

Postal authorities don't think any letters, bills or other type of
first-class or second-class mail were among the hundreds of thousands of
fliers at Padgett's home, some dating back as far as 1999.

It wasn't a conscious stand against waste or a junk mail protest that
spurred Padgett to hold onto the mailers, according to Andrew McCoppin,
his attorney. Rather, it was the inability to meet the demands of a job
in a growing part of the county while contending with heart problems and
complications from his diabetes, McCoppin wrote in a memo in advance of
the hearing.

Not sorting and delivering the third-class mailings became a way to save
time and make sure other mail got delivered on time.

Padgett pleaded guilty to the crime in August.



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