Former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin has been retained to investigate allegations of misconduct involving B.C. clerk Craig James and B.C. sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz.
The legislature’s three house leaders – New Democrat Mike Farnworth, Liberal Mary Polak and Green Sonia Furstenau – announced Wednesday McLachlin will do the independent investigation as special investigator. The ratification of her appointment is expected to be considered in the legislative assembly on Thursday.
“An independent investigation is taking place pursuant to a decision of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee on February 21, 2019. The investigation is a fact-finding to determine whether Craig James, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, or Gary Lenz, Sergeant-at-Arms, engaged in misconduct in the course of their employment as permanent officers of the legislative assembly, as outlined in reports by Speaker Darryl Plecas that have been publicly released by the Legislative Assembly Management Committee,” Wednesday’s statement from the house leaders said.
“The special investigator will ensure that the investigation process respects the rules of procedural fairness and natural justice. The special investigator is expected to present a final report to the House Leaders by May 3, 2019.”
Lenz and James have been suspended with pay since November after members of the legislature learned of an RCMP investigation and the appointment of two special prosecutors.
A 76-page report last month by Speaker Darryl Plecas outlined allegations of spending abuses by James and Lenz that included lavish foreign trips, clothing perks and topped up retirement and vacation pay outs.
James and Lenz have denied any wrongdoing.
With files from the Canadian Press