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2 Investigators: Postmaster Taking Long Breaks In Middle Of Work Day

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The postal system is in financial trouble but the CBS 2 Investigators uncovered a boss at the federal agency who is anywhere but at work in the middle of his government day.

"I'm doing fine", said United States Postal Service Northbrook Postmaster Ronald Weddington when confronted outside his Park Ridge home.

Postmaster Weddington entered the Northbrook Post Office branch at 9:11 a.m. on this day and left his government job at 11:01 a.m. He drove to his home 10 miles away and stayed inside until 1:45 p.m. When asked upon leaving his house why he is home so much during the work day, Weddington replied, "No. I'm not home a lot."

Postmaster Ronald Weddington is paid to run and keep a watchful eye on the entire branch of the U.S. Post Office in Northbrook, but who is keeping an eye on him? CBS 2 surveillance cameras documented the postmaster gone for long breaks in the middle of day, two hour, three hour and nearly four hour breaks along with questionably late start times and early departure times from his full time job.

Over a period of a few weeks from late May until mid-June, CBS 2 repeatedly saw Weddington going home.

The first day, CBS 2 observed him as he left the post office at 10:45 a.m., stopped for fast food, and then headed home. He returned to work nearly four hours later at 2:30 p.m. and then left again at 3:15 p.m.

The second day -- he was in at 9:15 a.m. and then he left his federal post at 11:05 a.m., after a brief stop at a bank he headed home. Three hours after being gone, he returned to work at 2:15 p.m. and then left work again at 4:39 p.m.

Postal customers Alif Zamfir and Sue Stoehrmann were upset to hear about Weddington's schedule.

"I think it's absolutely wrong," said Zamfir and Stoehrmann agreed adding, "If he's drawing a salary he should represent the post office well and not take advantage."

The third day Weddington arrived at the post office at 9:25 a.m. and then he left at 11:04 a.m. He again picked up fast food and went home. At 1 p.m., he left home and went to a meeting at a restaurant. He returned to the post office at 3 p.m. and then left work at 4:22 p.m.

Officials from the United States Post Office would not give us any records involving Weddington's working hours or explain how or if anyone is even monitoring him.

On the fourth day of watching Weddington he arrived to work at 9:11 a.m. and stayed until 11:01 a.m. and went home. He was gone from work for nearly three hours when CBS 2 asked him about his time away from work, Weddington responded, "No. I'm on lunch."

He then quickly drove back to the Northbrook post office where a CBS 2 producer was waiting for him outside. He was asked again where he was for three hours and he told CBS 2 he was at a"meeting."

A spokesperson for The United States Postal Service declined CBS 2's request for an interview.

Instead, CBS 2 was told that postmasters are allowed to work irregular schedules in order to fulfill their many responsibilities. The spokesperson would not tell us how postmasters are scheduled or if anyone is keeping track of how many hours they worked. The spokesperson did tell CBS 2 that the Northbrook Post office delivers 120,000 pieces of mail daily.

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