MLA NDP Rob Fleming’s former constituency assistant now free on bail.
The former constituency assistant to NDP MLA Rob Fleming is now free on bail after spending the night behind bars.
45 year old Marni Offman is charged with fraud, forgery and theft.
Mary Griffin reports.
Marni Offman ran from photographers as she exits her bail supervisors office.
The former constituency assistant to NDP MLA Rob Fleming is charged with fraud, forgery and theft while she worked in his office.
“This is heartbreaking stuff because an M.L.A. or anyone in public office relies on their closest staff members.
Has confidence in them as I did in this individual.”
Offman worked with Fleming for ten years.
She ran his constituency office, while allegedly forging cheques and stealing thousands of dollars.
“When I uncovered it I had to do what I had to do.
It’s an awful feeling when you find out that someone you trusted and gave a high degree of responsibility to, worked closely with.
And in this case over many years.
Might have been stealing funds from your office.”
The government appointed the former Police Complaints Commissioner Dirk Ryneveld as the special prosecutor, and he moved forward with three charges.
Defrauding the Swan lake constituency office in excess of $5000.
Theft of money in excess of $5000.
And uttering forged cheques.
Victoria defense lawyer Chris Considine says special prosecutors are appointed to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“A special prosecutor appointed when there is a potential conflict of interest.
Such as a politician who is being investigated, a politician’s family.
Or a close person related to government or a civil servant.”
Fleming discovered the irregularities while going through his office’s books.
And took the allegations to Victoria Police.
“It’s gut-wrenching when you uncovered something like this.
It’s because it involves someone that you trust and work really closely with.
In this case over a number of years.”
Offman’s next court appearance is August 11th in Victoria Provincial court.