A trade union spokeswoman claimed employees were gobsmacked to learn that Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist had been tasked with coordinating work placement schemes for asylum seekers.
“People were screaming in the corridors,” said Sanna Nordblad, branch chairwoman of ST, the Union of Civil Servants.
A dentist by trade, Bermudez-Svankvist led the jobs agency for five years before she was forced out after reports she had racked up more than 300,000 kronor ($37,000) in mobile phone charges.
Surveys showed that employees had lost confidence in her over the years, while media reports at the time of her dismissal suggested that her huge roaming charges were just part of a wider problem that also included wildly excessive expenses claims.
She also encouraged employees to portray a deeply controversial labour market scheme in an unrealistically favourable light.
In her new job Bermudez-Sankvist is expected to liaise with the employment agency, much to the dismay of union representatives there.
“Our members are concerned,” ST branch chairman Fredrik Andersson told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
“They remember what it was like when she was the boss here. Now they’re afraid of having to come into contact with her again.”
The migration agency’s operations manager, Mikael Ribbenvik, is now facing a storm of criticism for having hand-picked Bermudez-Svankvist without advertising the position externally.
“I take responsibility for that. Formally it is wrong, yes,” he told the ST union’s magazine Publikt.
The union’s representatives at the migration agency view the appointment as entirely inappropriate.
“We are unhappy with everything about the recruitment. I think it will be difficult for her to do a good job in view of her history,” Sanna Nordblad told Svenska Dagbladet.
Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist was born in Mallorca in 1963. She moved to Stockholm at the age of 16.
In 1999 she was named Sweden’s manager of the year after a string of successes in the public and charitable sectors.
She began her new job in March and is earning 80,000 kronor a month.