Bellevue postal worker gets OK to wear his Santa outfit

Bob McLean, dressed as Santa Claus, delivers the mail along his route in 2009. - Chad Coleman, File Photo
Bob McLean, dressed as Santa Claus, delivers the mail along his route in 2009.
— image credit: Chad Coleman, File Photo

Santa has been saved.

Bellevue postal worker Bob McLean will be allowed to wear his full Santa Claus outfit when he delivers the mail on Saturday – Christmas Eve – following a resolution of the issue with management of the U.S. Postal Service.

"There will be a Santa in Bellevue," McLean said happily Thursday afternoon.

The resolution also allows McLean to wear a Santa hat on Friday when he delivers the mail. McLean had been doing that for several days. USPS spokesman Ernie Swanson said the decision was made Thursday to allow McLean to resume his Santa duties. Management at the Seattle office reverse their decision, he said.

"The decision to allow Mr. McLean to wear the Santa suit on Saturday was the right thing to do," Swanson said. "Wearing the Santa suit was not causing any problems and was creating a lot of good will during the holiday season."

The postal service had told McLean he couldn't wear his Santa outfit this year because of a complaint by a fellow postal worker. McLean had worn the outfit in years past.

The issue promoted a huge national uproar as media publicized the situation with Internet sites recording hundreds of complaints, almost all directed at the postal service. Swanson was unsure whether or not the national backlash to the decision had anything to do with management reversing their original decision.

The story also got nation-wide coverage on radio and TV.

"I'm just glad its all resolved," McLean said.


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