Warren worker suspended without pay six weeks

WARREN — Celestino DiVieste, a city operations worker spotted at the Sorrento’s Restaurant on Parkman Road Northwest for nearly two hours May 3 while he was supposed to be working, has been suspended without pay for six weeks.

Warren Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa issued the punishment in a May 24 letter to DiVieste, who is Cantalamessa’s uncle.

The letter says Cantalamessa determined DiVieste was guilty of gross misuse of city equipment, dereliction of duty and being absent without leave. DiVieste will serve his suspension from May 3 to July 13.

The incident came to light when former Vindicator reporter Peggy Gallek, now a reporter for Cleveland TV station Fox 8, broadcast a story saying she watched and recorded DiVieste arriving at the restaurant at 10:45 a.m. and not leaving until 12:30 p.m. Gallek questioned DiVieste as he was leaving the restaurant parking lot, and DiVieste denied being in the restaurant.

The disciplinary letter says evidence showed that DiVieste was conducting “personal business while on the city’s payroll.”

It added, “Sorrento’s Restaurant is nowhere near your work assigned area. The evidence clearly established you were absent without leave May 3, 2019.”

Greg Hicks, Warren law director, indicated at the time the Fox 8 story aired that he would ask personnel in his department to check video surveillance in the area to determine whether it confirmed the Fox 8 story and how often DiVieste went to Sorrento’s on city time.

Today, Hicks said the cameras did not provide any evidence, but he will decide whether his office will take any further steps after seeing “how [DiVieste’s] punishment plays out.”

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.