Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has ordered the head of the state Department of Labor to return $20,000 in pay, in response to a Boston Globe expose showing that he worked less than 3 hours a day.
A top Romney administration official said no further disciplinary action would be taken against the director, Angelo R. Buonopane. But he added that Buonopane's job responsibilities would be "sharpened." The Globe had also reported that Buonopane, who earns $108,000, has "no obvious duties."
Ranch C. Kimball , who oversees Buonopane as secretary of the state's Executive Office of Economic Development, called the restitution "a huge penalty, the largest case of restitution ever made to the state." However, Kimball added: "It's not a fireable offense. It's not active malfeasance, not failure to perform duties. There were problems, but we think massive restitution is the right solution."
In the course of their investigation, Globe reporters watched as Buonopane arrived and departed from his office. Kimball said the amount of pay Buonopane is being asked to return accounts for the eight days in February and March on which the Globe reporters observed him working an average of 2 hours and 51 minutes. The restitution also covers excessive vacation from last year.
The newspaper found that Buonopane took 7½ weeks of vacation last year, though the maximum for state employees is 5.
Source: The Boston Globe