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'Broom Guy' can return to post office

Posted at 10:46 PM, Apr 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 15:35:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 78-year-old Indianapolis man who was told by a postal official that he can no longer sell his brooms on postal services properties can return. 

In a statement Friday, the Postal Service said, “Following a review of the unique facts, we are pleased to announce that the local Post Office has decided to allow Mr. Richter to return to the Nora branch location. This action ensures the safety of both Mr. Richter and our customers.”

Jim Richter had been selling his brooms at Indianapolis post offices for decades – until recently.

In February, he was told by a postal official at the Nora branch that he was no longer welcome on postal services properties.

Richter, who is blind, says he's been selling brooms at post offices since the 1950s.

"This lady came barging out of the door and said, 'You can't do that anymore,'" Richter said. "I said, ma'am, and she said, 'Don't ma'am me. I'm the postmaster and I'm ordering you off of the property.'"

Richter said he wasn't given a chance to respond.

The resulting publicity prompted House Speaker Brian Bosma to write a letter to the Indianapolis postmaster asking that Richter be allowed to resume selling his brooms on Postal Service property.

Gov. Mike Pence also bought two brooms Tuesday, assuring Richter he's trying to resolve the situation.

"He said, 'I have a call in to the postmaster general,'" Richter said. "I have to go to Evansville, but on the way back, I expect this issue to be resolved."

The media attention has also been good for business. Richter says he sold out his inventory Tuesday just after noon.

Richter says he was told that complaints from customers led to him being banned from Postal Service properties.

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