‘MUMN boss abuses his position for personal gain’ – Mt Carmel CEO admits

The CEO of Mount Carmel Hospital told an inquiry board the MUMN boss had exaggerated his hours of work, but no action could be taken against the abuse because he would issue directives that would affect the care of patients at the hospital, documents seen by The Shift reveal.

Last year, a Health Ministry board of inquiry heard how the MUMN union boss, Paul Pace, consistently abused his position by claiming thousands of euro in unaccounted overtime and threatening to order union directives if he didn’t get his way.

Information presented in parliament last year showed that in addition to his salary, Paul Pace was paid €270,000 in overtime and allowances over the past decade.

Stephanie Xuereb, the CEO of Mount Carmel Hospital, where Pace works as a nurse, made these declarations last year during an official investigation by senior Health Ministry officials.

The investigation found that Pace had abused government funds, but the issue remains unaddressed.

CEO of Mount Carmel Hospital Stephanie Xuereb. Photo: DOI

According to the transcript of Xuereb’s declarations to the board, seen by The Shift, the CEO declared that she could not act against Pace despite knowing of the abuse.

“Paul Pace is exaggerating the number of hours he records as overtime while on call. I have repeatedly raised the issue with him. It is either this, or he is not carrying out his work during his normal working hours,” the CEO told the inquiry board.

In her declarations, Xuereb underscored how the government allowed Pace to abuse his position instead of taking action against him.

“You have to understand Mount Carmel’s position with regards to Paul Pace,” she told the board set up by the Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Joseph Chetcuti.

“It is not healthy to have persons wearing different hats,” she said regarding Pace’s role as a nurse and the President of the MUMN.

“Management has severe difficulties challenging Pace with him being the president of the MUMN as he will use his position to retaliate by issuing directives that will negatively affect the service,” she told the board.

While admitting that Pace had been abusing his position by claiming overtime payments even when he was abroad on holiday, Xuereb suggested that Pace was essentially ungovernable.

“You can just imagine the consequences if we didn’t issue his payments,” the CEO told the board.

Xuereb’s declarations were among several heard by the inquiry board, which concluded last year that there was enough evidence for the government to take disciplinary measures, including Pace’s dismissal.

However, at the end of the fact-finding process, a Public Service Commission (PSC) disciplinary board headed by Johann Galea, the Justice Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, let Pace off the hook by stating that Pace’s case did not merit dismissal and issued a five-day suspension instead.

The board of inquiry discovered Pace had claimed overtime and marked his presence at work while on holiday in Egypt and Portugal. He was also paid overtime when at lunch with Health Ministry officials.

The board also found that Pace took on unauthorised private work while supposedly on duty at Mount Carmel and refused to follow procedures for attendance, overtime claims, and “union leave”.

The report was also forwarded to the police for further investigations into the actions of the MUMN boss.

The Shift is informed that despite various police interrogations, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa and Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg have not yet issued any charges.

                           

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8 Comments
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S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
30 days ago

“Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa and Attorney General Victoria Buttigieg have not yet issued any charges.” Twiddling their fingers as always. And a wimp as CEO. Use

simon oosterman
simon oosterman
30 days ago

It pays to be a ‘friend’.

Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
30 days ago

This is far from being the good governance and accountability you promised you lot of criminals in government

makjavel
makjavel
29 days ago

So Paul Pace , one of Labour’s staunch supporters in the 2013 Election, practically leading the various unions together with the Late Toni Zarb, is now taking his Pound of Flesh using the same union members he convinced to vote Labour to get a pay rise by striking if the government tried to discipline him because of the wages he stole.
The Nurses have only one option , get rid of him. Else you will be used and the public will not support you.

Pony Express
Pony Express
29 days ago

L obbligazzjonijiet jiswew il flus.

Christopher Hitch Borg
Christopher Hitch Borg
29 days ago

Arani sejjer nigri nigbor il-vot!!!

J Spiteri
J Spiteri
27 days ago

You should asap. Show this crooked government you had enough of this theft wherever you look. Being passive gives these crooks a boost.

Kurt Zammit
Kurt Zammit
28 days ago

Wow. This reads really bad. So he is weaponising the union members for personal gain and nothing gets done about it.

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