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5 TCHC employees fired after probe into 200 Wellesley St. fire

The Toronto Community Housing Corp. (TCHC) has canned five employees after an investigation into an insurance claim for a fire at 200 Wellesley St., which displaced hundreds of residents in 2010.

President Eugene Jones Jr. said Wednesday an independent forensic investigation had found evidence of wrongdoing by several employees.

“The findings are serious, and today we have taken appropriate steps to address them,” he said in a statement.

“There have been staff disciplinary actions, including the termination of five employees.”

The TCHC has handed over the probe’s findings to Toronto police “to determine whether there are matters worthy of further investigation.”

Mayor Rob Ford said he was upset about the millions of dollars “being squandered,” but believes Jones is on the right track.

“[The TCHC] is turning around,” he said at city hall. “We can all see a difference.”

Jones said the organization will release a public summary of the findings after all investigations are finished.

“I am serious about making Toronto Community Housing a landlord of excellence, and changing the culture at our company so that we are honest, transparent and accountable in everything we do,” he said.

“I expect all employees to make ethical choices, uphold the integrity of the corporation at all times, and protect the dollars that taxpayers and residents place in our trust.”

Last week, the TCHC agreed to pay $4.85 million to more than 600 tenants who lost property and were hurt in the Wellesley Street fire.

The class-action lawsuit was filed against the TCHC and the building’s former operator, Greenwin Property Management Inc., in November 2010.

With files from Showwei Chu