The 67-year-old employee, who now faces charges of abuse of office, forgery and aggravated extortion, continued to be paid a monthly salary that totalled €538,000 (roughly $647,300 USD), despite not showing up to work since 2005, according to police.
The man was an employee at the Pugliese Ciaccio hospital in the Calabrian city of Catanzaro, and an investigation called “Part Time” had police gather evidence such as attendance records and statements from colleagues to investigate both the man and six managers who are being accused of enabling the employee.
The man reportedly made threats against a hospital director in 2005 to prevent her from reporting his absences. After the director retired, police say the man’s attendance was never checked by human resources or the following director.
The Italian government, after discovering how common absenteeism was for public employees, tightened a law in 2016 to start preventing it. In the following investigation, a police officer was filmed clocking into work in his underwear before going to bed. And in another, 35 workers at Sanremo’s town hall were caught reportedly cheating time cards.