I-TEAM: Warren city worker caught not working appealing suspension to boss, who is also nephew

WARREN -- The I-Team caught a local city worker not doing his job, and now we have tough questions for his boss, who is also his nephew.

On Wednesday, Warren Director of Safety and Service Enzo Cantalamessa did not want to answer questions about why he is issuing discipline to his Uncle Celestino DiVieste.

We waited outside of city hall for Cantalamessa for more than four hours. When he walked out of the building, we asked him if he should be the one issuing the discipline to DiVieste. He said, "yes, thank you" and walked away.

We told him that Councilman Ken MacPherson feels it's a conflict.

Cantalamessa said MacPherson is wrong. When we asked him why he thought the councilman was wrong, he responded, "because he is."

Councilman MacPherson told the I-Team that other employees have received harsher discipline for similar issues.

DiVieste, who earns about $18 an hour, was suspended for 40 days.

He is appealing the suspension, and Cantalamessa will preside over the grievance hearing.

MacPherson sent an email to Human Resource Director Brian Massucci  questioning the discipline. Masscci responded to MacPherson by email,  stating the city was unable to do a more in-depth investigation because of the FOX 8 report.

"Quite frankly, Channel 8 - Fox News ruined any chance of a thorough investigation into this matter. Because, of their news report, the City was limited to the facts as published. Had this been brought to the Human Resources Department, the City could have put a GPS device on his vehicle, as we have done in the past," Massucci wrote in the email.

But, several city leaders said the matter was brought to the attention of the city administration.

Councilman John Brown told FOX 8 previously that he had contacted city administrators over a year ago.

"This is the worst kept secret in all of Warren," MacPherson told FOX 8. "For three years, I have been hearing about it.  People have been told. I am sure there are emails."

Law Director Greg Hicks said it is his understanding that city administrators knew about it.

"There is no question it was known," Hicks said.  "This didn't stop, and I think it would still be going on if FOX 8 didn't do the story."

FOX 8 was contacted by several sources over the past few months, telling us that DiVieste was taking his city vehicle and going to a restaurant for several hours during his shift.

We went to Warren on May 3 and saw DiVieste pull into the restaurant parking lot at 10:45 a.m..  He parked in the back and went inside.  He then came back out at 11:30 a.m.  and moved his truck to the side of the restaurant and went back inside.  At 12:30 p.m. he left.

When we asked him why he was there so long, he denied being at the restaurant. When we told him we have him on video he said we were "making stuff up."

DiVieste's appeal hearing is scheduled for next week.

 

 

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