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Toronto Community Housing CEO out following review
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, February 21, 2019 12:02PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 21, 2019 4:02PM EST
The suspended CEO of Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) has been terminated following a third-party investigation into her role in a procurement process that the board says did not meet the organization’s “procedures and protocols.”
Kathy Milsom was first placed on an administrative leave in December after the board became aware of a “flawed” process that was used to award a contract to management consultant agency Orchango, to help with a reorganization that was taking place at the TCHC.
TCHC decided to terminate the contract with Orchango and bring in a third-party to conduct a review of the actions of Milson and another unnamed employee, who was also placed on administrative leave.
In a statement issued on Thursday morning, TCHC’s board of directors said that it has now reviewed all of the “available evidence” and has concluded that “Milsom’s conduct throughout this process did not meet the high standard” that it has set for itself.
For that reason, the board said that it has decided that it is “in the best interest of the organization” to terminate Milson, effective immediately.
TCHC board chair Kevin will take over as CEO effective April 3, according to the board. He will be the third permanent CEO of the TCHC since 2014.
“Certainly it is disappointing but presented with the facts the board felt this was the right decision we needed to make to ensure the integrity of the company going forward,” Marshman told CP24 on Thursday afternoon. “As this matter is an HR matter and subject to some ongoing potential court action I am somewhat restricted in what I can say but what I can say is that the process did not ensure that there was a fair and equitable consideration of all participants that submitted bids on this particular contract and a result of that we did not have a fair and effective award.”
In its statement the board said that Milson oversaw a process that fell short of what is expected with a public procurement and also failed to “fully cooperate” with the investigation into the matter.
Speaking with reporters prior to a meeting of the police services board on Thursday afternoon, Mayor John Tory said that he supports the board’s decision to terminate Milson.
“We have to maintain high standards when it comes to the conduct of people who are in these jobs so the change is going to take place but I am hearted by the fact that Kevin Marshman, who has actually been the acting CEO before, is willing to step forward and do this job because I think he both represents stability and continuity and always will do a good job in maintaining the high standards we expect,” he said.
Milson joined TCHC in 2017
Milsom was hired as the CEO of the TCHC in August 2017 following what officials described as an “international search.”
She took over the job from Marshman, who had stepped into the role after the abrupt resignation of interim CEO Greg Spearn. Spearn had previously replaced Gene Jones, who resigned following a scathing ombudsman’s report in 2014 that accused him of an “abject failure of leadership"
Speaking about the turmoil at the agency in recent years on Thursday, Tory conceded that it has “not been a happy story to read about” but he said that he is “confident” that Marshman will be able to “earn the trust” of tenants.
Sheila Penny, who has been serving as acting CEO of the TCHC, will continue in that role until Marshman takes over.