USPS regulator fires its chief data officer following felony arrest

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The Postal Service’s regulatory agency has fired its first chief data officer, in light of pending felony charges following his arrest in San Diego, California.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Amber Baggs said on July 12  that Russell Rappel Schmid, the Postal Regulatory Commission’s first chief data officer, was arrested Monday by the San Diego Harbor Police Department, and charged with allegedly arranging to meet with a minor for lewd purpose. He was in San Diego attending a conference.

Baggs said Rappel Schmid was booked into San Diego Jail and released on bail early Tuesday morning. He is scheduled for felony arraignment on July 18.

The Postal Regulatory Commission, in a statement Monday, said the agency learned of the recent arrest of an unnamed employee and terminated his employment “effective immediately.”

“The commission is shocked and horrified at these serious allegations and maintains a steadfast commitment to promptly deal with any claims of employee misconduct,” the agency wrote.

Rappel Schmid did not immediately respond to a Twitter direct message requesting a comment on Tuesday.

The Postal Regulatory Commission hired Rappel Schmid as the agency’s first chief data officer in February. Prior to that role, he served as the state of Alaska’s first chief data officer, and as a member of the Postal Service inspector general’s data analytics team.

Rappel Schmid also served more than 20 years in the Marine Corps, and served as an auditor for much of his service.

Rappel Schmid, in an interview this April, discussed bringing the commission’s data dashboard of USPS delivery metrics to full operating capability. The commission launched a beta version of its data dashboard prior to Rappel Schmid’s arrival at the agency.

The PRC dashboard pulls data that’s already available to the public, but in the form of annual compliance determination reports, which are based on annual reports USPS submits to the agency.

The dashboard currently contains nationwide service performance scores across all USPS product categories, but the latest information it currently has comes from 2019 and 2020.

The dashboard tracks the number of USPS products that are not meeting their service performance targets. A majority of the 27 products and component products are not meeting their targets.

The commission, in a request for comments, asked users for public feedback on the beta version of the dashboard, as well as suggestions for new features.

 

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