Mailman Faulted For 'Extreme Laziness,' Admits To Burning Mail - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mailman Faulted For 'Extreme Laziness,' Admits To Burning Mail

SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF - An Olympic Peninsula mailman faulted by federal prosecutors for "extreme laziness" has been sentenced for destroying or hoarding thousands of letters he was supposed to deliver.

For the offenses, Richard Farrell was sentenced Tuesday to 120 hours of community service. He'd previously pleaded guilty to a single federal charge of delaying or destroying mail.

Farrell, a 45-year-old Belfair resident, went to work for the U.S. Postal Service as a contract mail delivery driver in 1991, a role he continued until his misconduct came to light in 2010.

According to court documents, the Postal Service began investigating Farrell after other employees found a load of letters he was to deliver dumped in a recycling bin.

Investigators followed Farrell on a route, watching as he spent his day at a tavern before taking the mail to his home and burning it in a fire pit. A search of Farrell's residence uncovered nearly 8,000 letters.

Farrell, it turned out, had no malicious reason for keeping the mail. He just didn't feel like doing the work he was paid for.

"His conduct reflects extreme laziness and a complete lack of consideration for the customers that he serviced," Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods told the court. "Farrell repeatedly made the decision that he would rather spend his work hours not working, covering up his crime by stoking a fire pit with the very mail that he was supposed to be delivering."

Writing the court, Farrell's attorney noted his client, who'd subsisted for 19 years working for the government, also had fallen far, far behind in his taxes and lost interest in work.

"By the time of his criminal behavior, Mr. Farrell owed the IRS substantial sums and his pay was being garnished on a regular basis," defense attorney Linda Sullivan told the court. "He indicates that the IRS took about 90 percent of his regular pay, leaving him with very little to live on.

"He became very frustrated with this situation and began to feel that he was simply working for nothing. … His frustration and anger with the Postal Service got the better of him and he began not delivering all of the mail, in an effort to trim his workload."

Sentenced Tuesday, Farrell was also ordered to pay a $25 fee and placed on probation for three years.

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