Our expert says:
As you've probably noticed, bullies are often deeply shallow and inadequate people who push people round to try to feel an importance and competence they neither deserve nor achieve.
Sounds like you may need to go back to the top again, making it clear that he improved for a time but is now reverting to his bad old habits, and that apparently HR is utterly useless and doesn't understand that their role is not supposed to be an automatic defence of the senior person complained of.
The sort of situation you describe is sadly common in business - an incompetent boss messing up what other good people can manage better in his absence.
have you discussed this situation with the Union ? As you say, there are other employees also affected by this twerp.
Maybe explore with a good labour lawyer what other options there might be, to get this twit to recognize what the laws require ; maybe ask Dept of Labour for clarification, too - even if you invoke some such actions after you have found a better job.
Counselling might be more genuinely helpful than expensive drugs, which treat Depression, but not unhappiness caused by good external reasons.
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