A director of Mr. Scumace’s unit reported his absence in 2005, and threatened to file a disciplinary report for his inability to show up for work. Soon after, an unknown man harassed her and her family, police said. Intimidated, the director remained silent and soon retired.
Two officials from the human resources department and another from Mr. Scumace’s same unit, however, favored his negligent absence, police said, and are now themselves under investigation, accused of abuse of office for failing to report him. .
According to police, three hospital officials are also under investigation who looked into her case last year and concluded that it was “impossible” to take disciplinary action.
The director general of the Pugliese Ciaccio Hospital, Francesco Procopio, said the hospital had curbed absenteeism in recent years, but this case was peculiar because Mr. Scumace did not appear in the electronic database.
“This paradoxical problem arose here, of course, but the hospital doesn’t deserve this bad publicity,” Procopio said. “The workers here fight Covid and all diseases here every day, and such behavior is offensive to them and to all the people of Calabria.”
Fifty-seven public employees, half at the Pugliese Ciaccio Hospital, where Dr. Scumace, and half for the Local Health Authority of Catanzaro, are currently on trial on charges related to missing work.
According to prosecutors, some hid their faces under open umbrellas as they passed the time tags of colleagues otherwise engaged in grocery shopping or playing video poker. A high-ranking doctor from the same hospital would have skipped the afternoon shift for years. He was promoted to primary before his absenteeism was discovered and is now suspended and faces a criminal trial.