Say what?!

At a time when the U.S. Postal Service says it is experiencing a financial crisis, it purchased a $1.2 million home from an employee so he could relocate, a CNN investigation has found.

Postal Service spokesman Greg Frey said the home will be resold, as others have been.

“It’s not like we threw away a million dollars,” Frey told CNN. “We are hoping it’s going to go for the appraised value.”

But a real estate agent in the area said the home could be a tough sell in a depressed housing market — and the USPS said it lost an average of more than $58,000 on the 500-plus homes its relocation program bought and sold in 2008.

The 8,400-square-foot, six-bedroom home on Lake Wateree, about 30 miles north of Columbia, is likely to be the last million-dollar home purchased by the Postal Service. A $1 million cap on homes eligible for the relocation program took effect in February, Frey said.

But the program has raised eyebrows among critics and is under scrutiny by the USPS inspector-general’s office in the wake of a CNN investigation.

The South Carolina home belonged to Ronald Hopson, the former postmaster in Lexington, South Carolina, and his wife, Evelyn. The property includes five acres, four bathrooms, two half-baths and an indoor swimming pool.

This begs two questions:

1. What is going on with the U.S. Postal Service? You may remember that I have my doubts about this government institution — but this has nothing to do with whether or not the agency has become obsolete. This has everything to do with the management of said agency. What are the higher-ups thinking? Buying an employee’s home, in a market where one must ASSUME that they will not get the asking price when trying to re-sell.

2. How much money does a postmaster make? If someone in that position can afford a $1.2 million home — then give me an application to be a postmaster!

[cross-posted at]

Home Politics Sign Me Up For The Postal Service