TORONTO – The future of Toronto Community Housing CEO Gene Jones will be discussed at a board meeting Friday morning following a scathing report that was released by the city’s Ombudsman on the corporation’s improper hiring practices earlier this week.
The report titled “Unrule(y) Behaviour” suggest senior management at TCHC repeatedly broke recruitment rules and some of the executives “did not know their obligations.”
“The pattern was set at the top by the CEO, who felt that TCH’s human resource policies did not apply to him. Others took their cue,” Ombudsman Fiona Crean said at a press conference Tuesday.
On Thursday, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford pleaded with the TCH board not to fire the embattled CEO and said Jones did what was needed.
“Eugene Jones was brought to Toronto community housing to clean up a mess. It’s that simple, it was a disaster,” Ford said during a press conference. “Eugene was told to clean up the mess; he did exactly what he was told to do.”
The Ombudsman said witnesses at the offices of TCH described a “climate of fear that destabilized the workplace.”
“During the 18 months after the CEO’s arrival, 88 staff left TCH, most of them involuntarily, and 96 new staff were hired,” the report read.
The Ombudsman said that in one case, Jones hired a manager, promoted her six months later to a senior director with a $30,000 raise without a process or job evaluation.
The report also said senior executives failed to “declare conflict of interest when hiring people they knew personally.”
Mayor Ford released an email to supporters Thursday to encourage them to attend the TCH board meeting at 8 a.m. at the corporation’s head office on Yonge Street.
“Corruption, waste, and poor service to tenants were major problems and Eugene was told to clean it up. He has done an excellent job in doing so,” the email read.
“Come out and show support for a man whose key message has always been to Put The Tenants First. Show your support for Eugene Jones.”