We can all excuse a little Leave it to Beaver-style fatherly indulgence. Boys will be boys and all. That said, the contractor-appellant in Mich v. United States Postal Service may have taken it a little too far when he allowed his adult son to drive a Postal Service mail transport vehicle despite the son’s “serious” heroin addiction that “adversely impacted his ability to perform in accordance with contract requirements” (as the Board of Contract Appeals delicately put it). Dad’s excuse? He had to let his son drive because no other driver was available to take his place.
“Well, it’s true that they’re on heroin and that those whitewall tires are stolen, but at least
the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes will arrive on time.”
Neither the contracting officer nor the Board of Contract Appeals were persuaded. Moreover, the Board found that at least one, if not both, of the sons were using Postal Service-issued fuel cards to buy gasoline and sell it on the side for personal profit. Ooh, just you wait until your father gets home!
In the end, one son pled guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States, and the Board of Contract Appeals (of course) affirmed the default termination of Dad’s contract, which required him to repay the more than $115,000 of excess fuel stolen by son(s) and assessed re-procurement costs for the Postal Service having to find another mail transport contractor.
At least the board waited until (nine days) after Father’s Day to issue its opinion.
The decision of the Board of Appeals is available at: ≪https://www.pubklaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PSBCA-Mich.pdf>>.