Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TCHC Lost $41.4 Million of Housing Funds Gambling in the Stock Market?

The news about the TCHC just gets worse and worse.

Apparently the Toronto Community Housing Corp. (TCHC) took $75 Million it received from the 2008 sale of Hydro Telecom, and disgracefully lost $41.4 Million of it gambling in the stock market. The funds were suppose to be spent on refurbishing 5,000 TCHC social housing units.

And these scumbags think that they did nothing wrong? None of the Board Members want to resign as per Mayor Ford's request. In fact, they are demanding a list of their wrongdoings, even after the release of the Auditor General's report??? (SOURCE: Housing board defies Ford, refuses to resign)

Seriously, only prison will give these criminals the life lesson that they need so, so badly.

Here's the story from the Toronto Sun:

Heads must roll at TCHC
Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) chairman David Mitchell — handpicked by the David Miller regime in March of 2008 — actually had the audacity to stand before the media Monday and claim he was both “angry and indignant” with the obscene spending and purchasing abuses discovered at Canada’s largest social housing company in Toronto Auditor-General Jeff Griffiths’ Feb. 25 report.

“I realized the people in whom I put my trust were not deserving of that trust ... frankly I feel betrayed,” said the deputy superintendent at the Metro East Detention Centre, throwing essentially all of TCHC’s former senior officials under the bus to cover his butt.

CEO Keiko Nakamura, who made $217,617 in 2009 and was part of the executive team when the abuses occurred, claimed she was “appalled and outraged” that something like this could happen at TCHC. She insisted she conducted herself “with complete integrity” and has been trying to move the company forward since filling the position of CEO a year ago.

There was no apology and no contrition. There was no acknowledgement by either that while the TCHC brass was enjoying $50,000 Christmas parties attended by 800 staff, $6,000 bonding sessions in Muskoka, $1,925 planning meetings at Elmwood Spa (complete with mani-pedis), and purchasing more than $5-million worth of fixtures, flooring, solar panels, toilets and sinks through a sole-source contract in China, many of their tenants have been living in squalid conditions, subject to security concerns and unable to access the most basic of repairs.

Might I add, as budget chief Mike Del Grande reminded us Monday, the TCHC poured the $75-million it got in 2008 from the city’s sale of Hydro Telecom into the stock market — and lost $50-million of it — instead of of using it to refurbish 5,000 social housing units as it was supposed to do.

Despite all of this, there was only a slick, less than sincere, series of pat answers from Mitchell and Nakamura that smacked of an entire weekend of pricey media training.

When it came time to question the two of them, I suggested to Mitchell that he’d been chairman for three years — making some $20,000 per year and $500 per meeting to fulfill that function — and either he was terribly incompetent or complicit to have turned a blind eye to all the abuses.

Mitchell claimed he accepts responsibility — but only for not asking enough questions of the senior brass.

“I placed our trust in people which I now realize was misplaced,” he said.

But the pregnant pause I got when I asked him whether he’d attended any of the $50,000 Christmas parties was far more telling.

“Have I gone to any of the seasonal celebrations? Yes,” he said, adding he couldn’t remember how many.

I also asked Nakamura — who approved the 2010 “seasonal celebration” despite her so-called attempts to bring in fiscal controls — why she didn’t blow the whistle on the TCHC’s culture of entitlement before the A-G did.

She didn’t answer.


(Image: by 04deveni on flickr


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