Apr 25, 2014
By Jane Brown
Embattled Toronto Community Housing Corporation CEO Gene Jones is letting his lawyer do the talking ahead of today’s meeting which could end in a decision to have him fired. Soma Ray-Ellis says Jones is beloved by TCHC tenants despite an investigation by Toronto’s ombudsman that reveals numerous apparent violations of hiring, promotion and conflict of interest rules at the TCHC. Ray-Ellis told CP24, “residents have called him a man with a heart of gold and a man of steel.” She says “this is a guy who shows up at midnight to see what’s going on with residents.”
Toronto mayor Rob Ford continues to back Gene Jones as the right person for the job. “Let Eugene Jones continue doing the excellent work he was asked to do,” Ford pleaded at an afternoon news conference, “and that is clean up the mess at Toronto Community Housing. Let’s not let politics stop him from doing a great job.”
Ford also criticized ombudsman Fiona Crean. He accused her of politcking and working on behalf of special interests that he did not identify. Crean told the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back earlier this week that Jones and other TCHC executives simply did not follow rules that are in place. “People were tapped on the shoulder and promoted. People were terminated, and I’m not saying whether people should or should not have been terminated, but there is a process by which you do it. And those policies are all in place. They are good policies but they simply weren’t followed.” Crean also rejects the Mayor’s accusations. She says “this investigation is no different than any other administrative investigation that she’s done in the last five years.” The TCHC board of directors convenes this morning to discuss the investigation and the future of Gene Jones.
Listen to the entire conversation of Toronto Ombudsman Fiona Crean with Dale Goldhawk by clicking here.