The Globe and Mail has published an article asserting that it has uncovered the involvement of a hospital executive, formerly employed by Infrastructure Ontario, in a scheme to defraud a Toronto university.
“Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital said it is reviewing the tenure of Vas Georgiou – a senior executive hired in 2013 to oversee construction of the hospital’s planned $300-million patient centre,” the newspaper has reported. “The hospital said it was unaware when it hired Mr. Georgiou that, when he was working for Infrastructure Ontario, he had issued false invoices that were used in a kickback scheme at York University.”
The newspaper says that, as a result of its inquiries, Infrastructure Ontario will also conduct an examination of Mr. Georgiou’s six years at the provincial government procurement agency.
The Globe and Mail reports that “one reason St. Michael’s was unaware of Mr. Georgiou’s involvement in the York fraud” is that, “although at least one Infrastructure Ontario official knew about it, that information apparently was not shared with anyone. The hiring of Mr. Georgiou raises questions about whether former executives of Ontario’s procurement agency withheld this vital information from officials who ought to have known – including Infrastructure Ontario’s own board of directors.”
St. Michael’s and Infrastructure Ontario have ordered forensic audits.
“These swift and prudent actions have been taken by the Board of Directors and Management to preserve and protect the public trust invested in St. Michael’s Hospital,” a statement from St. Michael’s said. In its own statement, Infrastructure Ontario said it was “very troubled” by some of the facts The Globe presented to four of its officials in an interview. “The activity in question goes against everything [Infrastructure Ontario] stands for,” said Bert Clark, the agency’s chief executive, and Linda Robinson, vice-chair of Infrastructure Ontario’s board.
Earlier this year, the hospital selected Bondfield Construction to design and build new 17-storey patient care tower at the hospital. In addition, the company will renovate about 150,000 square feet of existing hospital space. The new patient care tower will be built at the corner of Queen and Victoria streets.
Bondfield was one of three companies shortlisted for the construction and renovation project known as St. Michael’s 3.0. It is the construction part of St. Michael’s Partnership, which includes NORR Ltd. with Farrow Partnership, and Rocklyn Capital Inc.