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Opening comments:  More at the end.

    It is very interesting that the Ontario Realty Corporation (ORC), news release said "Mr. Miele will be leaving the corporation effective February 7, 2006. " and this says he left the same day.  What is the hurry?

    This is one political story where being able to read between the lines is more important than the actual (so-called), facts.

    Makes me wonder what will next come to light in the way of scandal and what, if any role the law suite with Mantella in which he is personally named as involvement and being a main reason for the court case.

The Globe and Mail - Jan. 26-06, Thur. - Inside Toronto - By John Barber.

from ORC

The most astonishing career in the provincial government came to an end this week when the Ontario Realty Corporation finally cut loose its president and chief executive officer, Tony Miele, a former Conservative Party activist who was at the helm of the agency as it endured years of scandal under premier Mike Harris - and miraculously survived two years of Liberal government with a salary of more than $400,000.

Actually, Mr. Miele resigned --- leaving his office the same day.

"His reasons were vague," ORC chairwoman Carol Gray said yesterday. "I think, though, it was a known fact that his employment contract was coming up for renewal and he's exploring other options although we're not sure what they are."

Former vice-president Greg Dadd has assumed Mr. Miele's past pending the results of "a full competitive search for a new CEO and president," Ms. Gray said.  The M-word no longer appears an the ORC's website. [1]

The ORC board surprised many observers when it voted to extend Mr. Miele's contract last April after struggling behind the scenes with the thorny question of his reappointment --- voting three times to replace him but failing to win political support from a curiously reluctant Liberal cabinet, according to one party insider. [2]

That curious loyalty inspired one senior minister to wonder why it was so difficult to find a Liberal to pay $400,000 a year to manage the province's extensive real-estate holdings, according to the source.  At least two ORC directors resigned while Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips blocked the board's attempts to recruit a new leader. [3]

But this time, with the ORC now reporting to Infrastructure Minister David Caplan, the job appears to have been handled better --- perhaps suggesting that the scandal-plagued agency is finally letting go of its politicized past.

On the other hand, the old era will survive in the form of ongoing, startlingly expensive civil and criminal proceedings growing out of dozens of scams exposed during the young Tory activist's seven-year term as ORC president.

Whether or not hindsight ever agrees with Mr. Miele's own claims that he either blew the whistle or acted impartially in every case large and small --- from nickel-and-dime toll-gating operations to obscenely lucrative flips of government-owned land --- the whole story is still shocking.

Ontario taxpayers have already paid more than $13-million in legal fees to prosecute a mammoth lawsuit against various parties that, the ORC claims, defrauded it in a whole network of kickbacks and frauds.

"I don't even want to guess what the audit fees are," the insider said.

One former ORC employee has already pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and another is coming to trial on similar charges soon --- along with a contractor much favoured during the Tory years.

And despite years of auditing, the corporation has still failed to explain the flurry of profitable land flips that occurred shortly after the Harris government decided to sell off public land, fired former ORC president John Bell and installed the young Mr. Miele in his place.

In one case that always bears repeating, Addison Properties bought a Bay Street building lot for $2- million, mortgaged it the same day for $6.5-million and sold it five years later for $14.4-million.

A partisan might suggest that Mr. Miele is lucky to be out of that cesspool. [4]  And who can deny that his sudden decision to resign and flee the coop on the same day is not well timed?  Surely the Harper government will find some way to exploit the talents and experience of this proven executive with the attractive resume listing all his services to the provincial party.

The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation perhaps?  Or how about a spell at the helm of the Toronto Port Authority along side the blushing Lisa Raitt?  After all, healthy democracy demands solid management.



[1] - Yes I went to their web-site the very next day and his name was gone - fast or what?

[2] - Yes why would the Liberal that so often called for him to be gone while in opposition, now elected, can't see the wisdom of handing him his walking papers.  It makes them look like hypocrites.  Makes people wonder if maybe some Liberals got under the table deals to!

[3] - Yes why can't the Liberals find someone in their ranks for a $400,000 dollar a year job?  Are they saying there are no qualified for the job?

    BUT what makes you really wonder how completely the FIX is in when you read that the top people were willing to resign in (apparent), protest over the efforts at keeping Tony Miele on as the
ORC president.  It also makes me wonder why we have not heard of this before!

[4] - A "cesspool"?  Maybe, but one of his own creation as that is the responsibility that comes with the title - President.   ]

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