Employee skipped work for 15 years


A hospital employee in Italy allegedly received full pay for more than 15 years despite never turning up for work.

Italian police said on Wednesday that serial absenteeist Salvatore Scumace, 66, had been placed under investigation for fraud, extortion and abuse of office, news agency ANSA reported.

Investigators allege Scumace was put on the books of Ciaccio Hospital in the southern city of Catanzaro in 2005, but never came in to work.

He was reportedly paid a total of €538,000 ($835,000) over the years he was he was thought to be working, or about €56,000 per year.

The average annual salary in Italy is just over €30,000.

According to local media, six of Scumace's superiors have also been placed under investigation in connection with his absenteeism.

The managers and staff were named as Nino Critelli, 66, Vittorio Prejanò, 64, Maria Pia De Vito, 68, Domenico Canino, 62, Laura Fondacaro, 52, and Antonio Molè, 53.

According to the BBC, the arrests come after a lengthy police investigation into absenteeism and suspected fraud in the Italian public sector.

Scumace is also accused of threatening his manager to stop her from filing a disciplinary report against him. Police said after the manager retired, his ongoing absence was never noticed by her successor or human resources.

The case echoes that of a Spanish public servant who skipped work for a decade without anyone noticing.

Carles Recio, who worked in Valencia's provincial government, would show up to the office every morning at 7.30am to clock in using the fingerprint scanner before heading home, only returning to the office at 3.30pm to clock out.

He kept up the routine for 10 years before colleagues began to raise suspicions.






Originally published as Employee skipped work for 15 years