Undercover Cop in his Underwear

Cop in his underwear wins compensation

A sacked Italian policeman who became an international laughing stock for clocking in to work in his Y-fronts has won his job back. And not only will he return to work he has been awarded compensation of €250,000.

The storm over the so-called ‘furbetti del cartellino’, the allegedly cheating employees of the Municipality of Sanremo, broke out on October 22, 2015 when the Guardia di Finanza (Italy’s Finance Police) arrested 43 council employees, of which. 9 were imprisoned and 34 were placed under house arrest.

The suspects, some of whom were caught red-handed, were clocking in at the office but were actually going about their business in the city: some were shopping, some were helping a friend at a second job, and some were even going kayaking. Some plea-bargained a minimum sentence, others ended up going to trial. For them, there were sentences initially, of between 2 months and 1 year imprisonment. But then the Court of Appeal decided that too much time had passed between the arrests and conviction and so the offences were no longer punishable by law.

The Court ordered their reinstatement in their jobs, with the payment of back wages, contributions and compensation. The last to win his appeal was the man who had become the unwitting star of the operation, policeman Alberto Muraglia, who lived in the municipal building and had been caught by cameras while he was punching his time card in his underwear: a behaviour that at the time was considered not only fraudulent, but also detrimental to the ethics of the administration itself.

The reinstatement, and the hefty compensation to be paid to Muraglia which includes his backpay and social security contributions from 2015 to 2023, brings to a close the investigation, which 8 years ago topped the headlines in newspapers and television in Italy.

Muraglia has always maintained that, punching the clock in your underwear does not constitute any possible offence. “I happened to get off duty, arrive home and remember that I had not punched in. To avoid dressing, I went to swipe my badge even in my pyjamas”, the policeman had told the magistrate.

Muraglia can now return to being a policeman, “Beyond reparations, the last eight years will never be returned to me”. he said.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.