Ottawa Hospital chief operating officer cleared in forensic audit

The scope of an independent forensic investigation into the Ottawa Hospital's planning department included chief operating officer Cameron Love, who was cleared of any wrongdoing, the hospital told CBC News in response to questions about work done by hospital contractors on the COO's home.

Work done by hospital contractors on Cameron Love's home paid for personally, audit finds

The scope of an independent forensic investigation into the Ottawa Hospital's planning department included chief operating officer Cameron Love, who was cleared of any wrongdoing, the hospital told CBC News in response to questions about work done by hospital contractors on the COO's home.  

Cameron Love became executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the Ottawa Hospital in February 2014.
"During the investigation launched in the summer of 2015, Love disclosed that he had renovations done on his home on a number of occasions between 2004 and 2011 by contractors also employed by the hospital, including one company named in a lawsuit launched by the hospital last week," Allison Neill, the hospital's executive vice-president of communications told the CBC News.

In that lawsuit, the statement of claim accuses two former directors of conspiring with five contractors to defraud the hospital in exchange for kickbacks. 

The forensic investigation cleared Cameron Love.

"In 2004/05, work was performed by one of the defendants named in the suit. In 2011, he (Love) had work done on his home by a hospital contractor who is not a defendant in the suit," Neill said.

The hospital said Love paid for the work personally and disclosed the information to his supervisor.

"The investigation has found no improper influence over contractor procurement, collusion with contractors or wrongdoing by Cameron Love."

Conflict of interest rules

But an expert in construction law, David Debenham questions whether that is good enough.

"There's usually any number of conflict of interest rules that prohibit a person responsible for a public procurement from doing business with the people that they're supervising and awarding contracts," Debenham said. 

He pointed to Public Works and Government Services Canada conflict of interest rules that state, "Public servants must perform their duties and arrange their private affairs so that public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of government are conserved and enhanced."
The Ottawa Hospital cleared it's Chief Operating Officer of wrong doing in a forensic audit last summer.

Between 2003 and 2014, Love was,  among other roles, vice-president of facilities planning and development, which oversaw the planning department responsible for capital projects. 

The same audit that cleared Love led to the lawsuit that names Frank Medwenitsch, the former director of capital projects, and Brock Marshall, the former director of engineering and operations as defendants.  

The lawsuit includes accusations of conspiring to fix contracts, pad invoices, nepotism, extortion and kickbacks, that involved lavish trips, free cars, and low cost — even no cost — work done on the homes of Medwenitsch and Marshall.

The claims have not been proven in court.