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Frewsburg postmaster placed on leave after probe

The head of the U.S. Post Office in Frewsburg has been placed on a leave of absence as a result of an investigation into financial irregularities at her office.

Postal Service officials declined to comment on the investigation except to confirm that the Inspector General’s Office is looking into the finances of the Chautauqua County office.

Donna Spencer, the Frewsburg postmaster, is believed to be the target of the investigation.

“The Inspector General received an allegation of financial irregularities, and we’re investigating that,” said Jeffrey Doetterl, assistant special agent in charge of the Inspector General’s Office in Buffalo.

Doetterl said his office has been investigating the matter for several months but indicated he could not comment on Spencer’s alleged role or how much money might be involved.

“The investigation is ongoing,” he said.

Spencer could not be reached to comment Friday, but a woman who answered the phone at the Frewsburg office said, “She’s on leave, and we don’t know when she’ll be back.”

A spokeswoman for the Postal Service confirmed that Spencer, a 27-year employee, has been temporarily removed from her duties as postmaster

“She is employed with the Postal Service,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service in Buffalo. “She’s in a nonduty status due to the investigation.”

Like Doetterl, Mazurkiewicz said she could not comment on whether Spencer is the target of the investigation or how much money might be at stake.

Spencer has been a fixture in the Frewsburg community since becoming postmaster of the small Chautauqua County office.

In April, she addressed a local historical group and assured it that her office remained strong despite declining mail volume across the country.

“Frewsburg, at this point, we’re fairly solid,’’ Spencer told the Carroll Historical Society. “We generate enough revenue, and we have a high enough population to have a high enough volume that there has not been any talk of reducing our hours at this point. I feel very lucky about that.’’