“Mailman Steve,” as he’s known to the children on his route, got 3 years probation yesterday for failing to deliver years worth of junk mail that was found stacked in his garage and buried in his backyard. He’ll also have to pay a $3,000 fine and serve 500 hours of community service.
Some consider “Mailman Steve” an anti-junk mail superhero — but it seems that Mr. Padgett was just overwhelmed.
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 could have received jail time for his actions, which were discovered when utility workers spotted the undelivered mail at his home. The U.S. Postal Service did not receive a single complaint about the missing junk mail, some of which dates back to 1999.
“I don’t think he was being malicious,” Shelley Cole, a resident of Apex’s Jamison Park subdivision, told the News & Observer. “We got all the mail that we needed to get.”