Mayor Rob Ford is defending Gene Jones, the embattled CEO of Toronto Community Housing, who was the subject of a scathing report published earlier this week by the city’s ombudsman.

Ford held a brief news conference on Thursday responding to Fiona Crean’s report which blasts Jones for ignoring hiring rules.

Ford said while it concerns him when staff break the rules, the report fails to acknowledge the work Jones has done to root out corruption and waste.

“Of course I care about people breaking rules but this is about cleaning up a mess that he was hired to do. Have things been perfect? No. Are they a hell of a lot better than they were 14 years ago? They are.”

Ford plans to attend Friday’s meeting of the TCH board, which held a special meeting on Tuesday after Crean published her report but have yet to decide on a course of action.

“I want the board and Bud Pervis to keep Eugene Jones at tomorrow’s meeting. I’m asking them to look at the best interests of the residents of Toronto Community Housing.”

The mayor said Jones is doing exactly what he was hired to do and dismissed Crean’s report as biased and politically motivated.