HUNTERSVILLE – The U.S. Postal Service has lifted a temporary ban barring Alain Lillie, CEO of the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group, the Herald Weekly’s parent company, from its Huntersville branch after he appealed the decision.
“He is allowed to go to our window and our box lobby” like any other customer, said Leslie Johnson Frick, marketing manager for the postal service.
Huntersville Postmaster Steve Mayne banned Lillie after an incident Feb. 24 at the 400 Gilead Road branch when Lillie came to speak with him about unfair business practices, a Huntersville police report said.
The report further stated, Mayne was unavailable to speak at that time. Lillie then walked from the public area of the post office through an open gate and into an area reserved only for employees.
The report further stated, Mayne then asked him to leave. As he left, Lillie called the postmaster a name and asked him to meet in the parking lot, Mayne told officers. Mayne called the police and issued the ban.
After postal officials reversed the ban, Lillie released this statement:
“I must say I’m really surprised this is even news. I first visited the Cornelius post office and had a professional meeting with its postmaster about concerns about potential unfair mass-mailing business procedures offered to a competitor. From there, I went to the Huntersville location to discuss the same topic.
After having the opportunity to review the police report, which did not include my side of the story, I disagree with many of the postmaster’s apparent statements and his apparent account of the events to the police. When I arrived at the Huntersville post office, I simply entered the loading dock area that I’ve always frequented to discuss bulk mail issues.
For what it’s worth, the layout of the Huntersville post office is very similar to the post office in Matthews, where we still utilize the postal service and where we are asked to enter at the loading dock area. After being invited into the rear of the Huntersville post office building by two postal employees, I was told the postmaster was not available. I then left my number and proceeded to leave.
At that time, the postmaster came screaming out of the building, yelled that I was trespassing and that he was calling the police. Baffled, I simply went to the front of the post office, waited for the police, made my statement and then went back to work. Again, I really am surprised that this is news at all.”