A Spanish civil servant who didn't show up for work for at least six years, and possibly as many of 14, was busted after becoming eligible for a long service award.

69-year-old Joaquin Garcia has been fined $30,000 (the most that could legally be reclaimed) after the award brought his absence to the attention of the authorities. Garcia's job was to supervise the building of a waste water treatment plant, but the court heard that the boss of the water company had not seen him for years.

As if this story wasn't crazy enough, the boss' office was located directly across from his.

According to the water company, they thought Garcia was being supervised by the local authorities and vice versa.

Garcia is denying any wrongdoing, claiming that he was the victim of political bullying and being moved to a job were there was no work to do. His lawyer says he has gone into hiding in the wake of these allegations in the media.

As for why he didn't just report the bullying and/or quit, Garcia says he was worried he wouldn't get another job to provide for his family, especially given his age.

It is reported that he did go to the office, but just not for "full business hours" every day.

[via BBC]