Management: County truck only casualty of workers’ poor judgment
Deputies rescued them from the flooded road, but two county employees couldn’t escape hot water at work for reportedly trying to drive through the deluge in an official vehicle.
Public Works employee Eric Hollingsworth received a five-day suspension without pay, and his supervisor, Bob Canciglia, earned a pay cut and demotion after a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office rescue team found the duo stranded on top of a work truck at Cone Bridge Road around 11:45 a.m. Dec. 14, according to county disciplinary records and a CCSO report.
Hollingsworth, the driver, and Canciglia, the passenger, said they were headed to the boat ramp to empty trash cans, as they do every week, the report states.
When the pair drove through the area earlier in the week, the water wasn’t as deep, they reportedly told deputies.
After they started passing through the road, they realized the water had risen higher since last time and tried to back up, according to the report.
The truck stalled out, and the water kept rising.
Once the passenger compartment started flooding, Canciglia and Hollingsworth retreated to the vehicle’s exterior and stood on tool boxes, where they called for help.
Deputies got them off the truck without any injuries.
But the incident did damage county property, according to disciplinary records.
Canciglia, who was Hollingsworth’s supervisor, was demoted from landscape supervisor to maintenance technician, cutting his pay from $16.85 an hour to $10.98 an hour.
“Mr. Canciglia’s failure to make a reasonable decision to enter a flooded area in a county vehicle resulted in himself and another employee being put in life threatening situation,” according to a county disciplinary notice. “… The failure of the supervisor to enforce safety and the willful disregard in his job performance endangered another employee.”
Canciglia’s negligence as a supervisor doesn’t absolve Hollingsworth of responsibility, the notice stated.
“Eric Hollingsworth was being supervised by Mr. Canciglia but still has the ability to make a decision not to put himself in harm’s way,” the notice read.