by CHRIS ROGERS
After being suspended last fall, former Winona Postmaster Sherri Jo Genkinger is no longer an employee of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), USPS officials reported this month. Asked how Genkinger’s employment ended and whether she was fired, a spokesperson stated that while Genkinger is no longer an employee, her case is still pending and the final disposition has yet to be determined.
USPS authorities suspended Genkinger without pay last October and did not publicly explain why, but referred all questions to the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG), a law-enforcement arm of the Postal Service dedicated to investigating crimes and fraud by USPS employees. This month, OIG officials reported that Genkinger is no longer a USPS employee, but declined to answer further questions, stating that her case was the subject of an ongoing investigation.
Also last fall, Winona Police Department (WPD) authorities reported that Winona had been experiencing “a boatload” of suspected mail theft — both packages stolen off porches after being properly delivered and cases that were harder to pin down, including checks and a lottery ticket that seemingly disappeared in the mail. Deputy Police Chief Tom Williams said of one man’s report of a check that went missing in the mail, “Did the [recipient] lose it? Did the post office lose it? Did he address it wrong? I don’t know.” The WPD referred the cases to USPS investigators.
Meanwhile, local postal workers are doing their jobs. USPS Officer in Charge Dale Zintman is currently leading the Winona Post Office, USPS Strategic Communications Specialist Kristy Anderson stated. “We are in the process of interviewing for a new permanent postmaster and hope to have that position in place by the end of the month,” she added.
“The U.S. Postal Service employs more than 503,103 employees and is the largest civilian federal workforce in the country,” USPS OIG Special Agent Greg Godfrey noted. “The overwhelming majority of Postal Service employees, which serve the public, are honest, hardworking, and trustworthy individuals.”