Bellevue's Santa mailman fights to keep suit on

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on December 20, 2011 at 6:50 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 20 at 1:45 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- With his cheerful greeting he gives to each customer, you'd never guess this Santa is staging a rebellion.

"Kinda going rogue," says postal carrier Bob McLean. "Might get in trouble."

For the last ten years, right around Christmas time, McLean grows out his beard and slips into his red suit before delivering the mail along his route.

"I see children walking up and down the street, going 'Look Mom! Santa Claus, Santa Claus,'" says Chapa Hernandez, a long time jeweler on Bellevue's Main Street.

But this year, a co-worker complained, saying he wasn't in compliance with the dress code. So the postmaster ordered him to stop wearing it.

"I don't understand why," says McLean. "Santa Claus is secular, it's not any religion."

But Monday, naughty or nice, McLean put on the suit anyway. His customers were happy to see it.

"I love seeing Santa," says Rachel Young, manager of Wee Tots. "It does bring cheer. It brings something to old Main Street that other places don't have."

"I think it's a wonderful thing that he's doing, and I support him," says Hernandez.

But his customers are worried he could lose his job.

"I mean it's possible," says McLean. "[But] I don't think they're going to win."

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