It is hard to believe the cheek of this man as reported in the Daily Telegraph.A Spanish civil servant who failed to turn up for work for six years was only discovered when he was considered for an award for loyal service.
The former public employee Joaquín García, who was still collecting his annual €37,000 salary, was on Friday ordered by Cádiz city hall to pay €27,000 in compensation.
He had been sent by the city council to oversee the building of a waste-water treatment plant in the southwestern part of the city but records show that Mr García had not turned up for work since 2004.
Mr García responded by filing his own complaint with city hall demanding that councillor José Blas Fernández, in charge of personnel at the time, be disciplined for negligence for failing to notice his absence.
Mr García argued that if it is true that he was absent during all of that time, “it was up to Mr Fernández to make sure that this did not happen”.
Mr Fernández took legal action against Mr García in 2010 after seeing his name on a list of employees due to receive awards for long service. Recalling that he had been sent to a post at Cádiz Water under an agreement between the council and the public utility in 1998, Mr Fernández visited the waterworks to find that Mr García’s colleagues had no idea where he was.
“They assumed he had been sent back to city hall,” Mr Fernández said. An investigation revealed that the phantom civil servant had not clocked in to work for six years from 2004.
Mr García claimed that he had occasionally visited his office but that there was nothing for him to do. He said he was the victim of workplace bullying due to disagreements between the council and the water company.
The now-retired civil servant has asked the current mayor of Cádiz, José María González of the Left-wing Podemos party, to be excused having to pay the damages equivalent to one year’s salary.
Bear in mind that the average salary in Spain is just over €19,000 and unemployment in Cádiz is above the national average at 34 per cent, this man surely takes the prize for bald faced cheek.