With the help of secret cameras, local police have discovered that nearly three out of four town hall employees regularly abandoned their work stations for more agreeable pursuits.
They included one who spent much of his work time indulging his passion for canoeing yet still regularly filed overtime claims.
The astonishing scale of absenteeism came to light after police were tipped off about the problem and organised a surveillance operation covering 272 of the town's 528 staff.
They announced on Thursday that 196 of those monitored, or 72 percent, were guilty of “frequent irregularities”.
A total of 35 staff have been placed under house arrest pending trials while another 114 were found to have been guilty of illegal conduct but will not face further action.