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Postal Worker Accused Of Throwing Away Thousands Of Pieces Of Mail On L.I.

MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The mail is supposed to go through snow, rain, heat and gloom of night, but one postal worker stood accused this week of being too lazy to deliver the mail in any weather.

As CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday, a postal worker on Long Island allegedly tossed thousands of pieces of mail into dumpsters this winter.

U.S. Postal Service employee Patrick Paskett, 24, was arrested last week. An investigation began when dozens of customers complained to both the Seaford and Massapequa Park post offices that their letters and packages were not arriving.

"Very, very bad – I mean, people are waiting for their checks; people are waiting for their bills, and it's very bad," said Christine Augello of Massapequa Park. "He should never have done that."

According to a federal complaint, Paskett said he knew it was wrong to throw away the mail, and admitted he had thrown the mail into dumpsters 15 times between December and March.

Most of the mail Paskett allegedly threw away is believed to have been hauled off to landfills. But a total of 1,018 pieces of mail were recovered from four dumpsters in Massapequa Park, the complaint said.

When a special agent tailing the letter carrier allegedly observed him tossing a stack of mail into a trash bin, Paskett then allegedly revealed several more of his favored dumpsters to investigators who rescued what remained – including 144 first-class items.

"It is pretty upsetting. You put your faith in the system," said Jeff Felicetti.

The motive, according to federal agents, was that Paskett could not be bothered. He allegedly thought it was a nuisance in the cold and snowy weather to complete the deliveries.

Paskett's attorney believes the charges are much ado about nothing. But Paskett has been charged with mail destruction – a felony that carries up to five years in jail.

"We all rely on the mail being delivered," said Gail Cauldwell of Massapequa Park.

Paskett was still employed as of Tuesday, pending the outcome of the criminal charges. But according to a U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman, he is no longer delivering mail.

Paskett was arraigned last Thursday. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a recognizance bond.

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