Postal worker accused of stealing $29K had sued U.S. postmaster for back pay


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ST. THOMAS - Before she was charged Thursday with stealing $29,000 from the U.S. Postal Service, a nine-year postal worker had filed a lawsuit for withholding pay after she had been charged with negligent homicide and had to take leave during the case.

Rosemarie Peltier, who has worked for the post office since 1994 as a window service technician, is being accused of misappropriation of postal funds, embezzlement of government property and false entries and reports of monies and securities.

Peltier, 43, appeared in federal court before District Judge Curtis Gomez on Thursday and was released from custody after posting a $10,000 unsecured bond.

However, it was not the first time that she appeared in court because of issues at work.

In April, Peltier filed a complaint against U.S. Postmaster Patrick Donohue and the local chapter of the American Postal Workers Union.

Peltier stated that the Postal Service failed to reimburse her back pay that she should receive after having taken leave for more than four years, according to the complaint.

Peltier had been involved in a car accident about 10 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2001, in which she was driving her vehicle and hit a pedestrian, Ron Frett, who subsequently died from his injuries. Peltier had been driving home "after working late for the Postal Service, as requested by her supervisor," the complaint said.

At the time, she worked at the Aubrey C. Ottley Post Office on St. Thomas and had been traveling west on Veterans Drive, where there was poor lighting, according to the complaint.

Witnesses at the time said that Frett "appeared to have been drinking when he stepped out into the street" in an area where there was no pedestrian crosswalk, the complaint said.

According to the same document, Peltier was charged with negligent homicide in May 2002, and the post office placed Peltier on leave without pay status in early June 2002.

Four years later, Peltier was acquitted of the charge after a trial and she sent a letter to the postmaster reporting the not guilty finding, the complaint said.

Since then, she has been trying to get reimbursed for the pay that she believes she deserves.

However, she now faces new charges. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Peltier failed to send off payments totalling more than $29,000 given to her by customers for the purchase of money orders.

District Court still had the complaint against Peltier under seal as of press time Friday.

If convicted of the offenses charged in the indictment, Peltier faces not more than 10 years in prison for each offense.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ishmael Meyers Jr.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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