A report released by the Speaker of the British Columbia legislature alleges the clerk and sergeant-at-arms engaged in flagrant overspending, questionable expenses and inappropriate payouts of cash “in the range of a million dollars.”
The 76-page report from Speaker Darryl Plecas says based on what he has seen and heard, he believed that there was a real possibility that crimes may have been committed and he felt obligated to bring those matters to the RCMP.
Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz and clerk of the house Craig James were suspended and escorted out of the legislature in November without any explanation. The RCMP later said it was investigating allegations against the men and that two special prosecutors had been appointed to assist in the investigation.
An all-party legislature committee voted to release the report today and agreed to launch an audit of legislature financial issues, conduct a workplace review and submit that report to an auditor from outside of B.C.
In response to the report, Lenz and James called the allegations ‘unsubstantiated.’
“We are only now able to read the allegations for the first time and we are confident that time will show that they are completely false and untrue,” read their coordination statement.
Both suspended officials say they are going to work through the allegations and provide a detailed response in the days ahead.
With files from the Canadian Press