Messina university rector quits over expense scandal


 MESSINA, Sicily – The rector of Messina University, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, has announced his resignation over an expenses scandal that erupted when the university’s trade union disclosed he had been reimbursed for expense claims worth more than 2.2 million euros over the past four years, la Repubblica newspaper reported.

 Cuzzocrea’s sky high expenses were disclosed by Paolo Todaro, secretary of the Gilda trade union and a member of the Academic Senate of the Sicilian university. Todaro also raised questions about a company called Divaha Società Agricola, an Srl that is owned by the rector and his wife with shares of 80 and 20 percent respectively.

 Administrator of the company is the rector’s widowed mother. Between Jan. 20 and Sept. 28 the company received 14 payments together worth 122,300 euros that Todaro suggested were questionable.

 Cuzzocrea denied any wrongdoing and said the expense claims were all for money spent on university research. Cuzzocrea's father was also rector of the university in the 1990s.