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Police: Civil Servant Hasn't Worked a Day Since 2005

Hospital employee faces charges after continuing to draw his salary
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2021 5:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – A hospital employee in Italy has been paid a total of more than $600,000 since 2005, which is especially generous considering police say he hasn't actually gone to work in all that time. That could be a new national record, the Guardian reports. But time may have caught up with him. The 67-year-old civil servant, who theoretically works at Pugliese Ciaccio hospital in Catanzaro, faces charges of abuse of office, forgery, and aggravated extortion. The extortion charge stems from a police finding that he threatened the hospital boss not to file a disciplinary report about his absences in 2005. She retired, and no one else ever checked to make sure the man was showing up at work. Six managers at the hospital are being investigated for possible involvement in the scam, per the BBC.

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Police interviewed colleagues and examined attendance and salary records during their investigation. Absenteeism is widespread in Italy, and the government responded with legislation in 2016 after investigations drew attention to the issue in the public sector. In one, surveillance cameras showed 35 workers at the town hall in the city of Sanremo cheating for at least two years. The wives of two employees clocked in for their husbands. Other employees left to go canoeing or shopping after clocking in. Another investigation caught a traffic cop who worked in the same building he lived in clocking in while in his underwear before going back to bed. (Read more Italy stories.)

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