“He had trouble keeping staff when he worked at (my brokerage),” says Elaine Smallwood, an agent in Ottawa who worked across the hall from the accused Chris Hoare. “(His staff) didn’t like working with him. He was very demanding, and he wasn’t very sympathetic. He had a bit of an edge to him.”
The subject of the brutal assault – Hoare’s wife, Kirsten Côté – told the court last week how, on April 2, 2014, Hoare repeatedly hit her on the head with an aluminum baseball bat.
The court also learned that 100 per cent of Hoare’s wages were being garnished by Canada Revenue Agency.
Hoare was a director of the Ottawa Real Estate Board for six years before becoming the youngest president in 1999.
He most recently worked at Paul Rushforth Real Estate, which quickly warned agents that he was no longer a member of the brokerage following his arrest.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) confirmed that Hoare no longer holds a license to trade in real estate in the province.
Ironically, Hoare also served for four years as a judge with RECO, according to his LinkedIn profile, “presiding over hearings in which other Realtors are being prosecuted for various offences.”
“It was shocking for us as realtors, because it’s not something we’re used to hearing,” Smallwood says. “Generally, you hear of someone getting in trouble because of work ethic, but something personal like that is very rare. So to me it’s just shocking.”
The real estate community was shocked last year when the past president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board was charged with attempted murder, but some of the accused’s colleagues say they’re too surprised.