Rome uncovers absenteeism among city gardeners

40 municipal gardeners checked-in but not at work in Rome's parks.

Rome police have caught 40 municipal gardeners who were allegedly at work in the city's parks but instead were nowhere to be found.
The investigation is centred on the south-eastern suburbs of Tuscolana and Appia but also uncovered absenteeism in other areas of Rome, and includes officials whose job is to ensure that gardeners are at work.
Rome's 180 gardeners are tasked with maintaining the city's 44 million sqm of parks and green spaces, much of which has been left in a state of abandonment in recent years.
In May the city's environment councillor Pinuccia Montanari suggested using sheep and cows to munch down the overgrown green areas while during the summer Rome put prisoners to work in the city's parks.
In 2014, maintenance of Rome's parks was among the key sectors linked to the so-called Mafia Capitale case which involved mobsters bribing public officials in return for lucrative city contracts.
Photo LaPresse