A mailman’s failure to deliver junk mail for years is not an offense worthy of imprisonment, a federal judge in North Carolina decided today, says the Raleigh News & Observer. “Today you’ll get credit for a life well lived,” U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III told Steven 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 for the crime of delaying and destroying mail.
When asked, none of Padgett’s customers complained about his failure to deliver the mail. Postal inspectors this spring discovered the third-class mail piled in the garage of Padgett’s home and buried in his yard. The U.S. Postal Service was contacted by a utility worker who noticed the excess mail at Padgett’s house.