Mayor Rob Ford says he fully supports the man hired to “clean up” Toronto Community Housing, the embattled organization that is currently the subject of two newly revealed investigations.
Ford was asked about a pair of investigations into possible financial irregularities involving the organization, as well as its hiring practices.
The mayor said he has supported digging into problems identified at TCH, giving credit to Gene Jones, the chief executive officer, for taking action on them.
"He’s come in, he’s cleaned house, he’s done what he has to do, I support him 100 per cent," Ford said.
"So if people want to take shots at him, I’m going to stick up for him because I know he’s done a good job."
On Wednesday the Toronto Star reported that TCH is investigating the possibility that documents were falsified by a former TCH subsidiary. Citing a source close to the investigation, the Star reported that the subsidiary may have altered documents to make it appear that work done at 200 Wellesley St. E. may have actually been performed in Ottawa.
A fire at that TCH building in 2010 gutted several apartments and left 1,700 people temporarily homeless.
Bud Purves, the chair of the TCH board of directors, confirmed Wednesday that an investigation had commenced.
"There were irregularities that we couldn’t turn a blind eye to," Purves said Wednesday on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.
"If proven, this is very serious and we take it very seriously. We are trying to turn this company around."
The Star also reported about a second investigation into hiring practices by Jones.
Purves said city ombudsman Fiona Crean is looking into reports about the hiring practices.
When speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Jones said he was “not at liberty” to speak about the investigations.
TCH, which is Canada’s largest provider of social housing, has been wracked by problems in recent years.
A series of mass firings and resignations came in 2011 after reports surfaced about questionable staff expenses including spa treatments, manicures and expensive Christmas parties.
Jones was brought in following that purge with a promise to restore credibility to the organization.
Metro Morning host Matt Galloway asked if either allegation is serious enough to involve the police.
Purves said he couldn’t comment about the specifics of the probe while the investigation is under way.
"We don’t have all the facts in," said Purves.