The ceremonial mace was carried into the house on Wednesday.
But it was by deputy, not Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz. Lenz, and the clerk of the legislature, Craig James, remain suspended and under a cloud of suspicion after a blockbuster announcement they are the subjects of a criminal investigation.
Twenty four hours after the two senior officials of the legislature left the building under a police escort, there are still no answers.
“Unfortunately, I cannot comment on this file at all. There is an ongoing investigation. And I don’t want to compromise it,” Alan Mullen, special advisor to speaker Darryl Plecas, said.
And it doesn’t get any better when senior politicians with each party are questioned, including NDP House Leader Mike Farnworth.
“Look. There is an ongoing investigation. And I’m not able to comment. I know that’s frustrating. But that’s a fact,” Farnworth said.
Green Party House Leader Sonia Furstenau said there was little information given to her, and the other party leaders.
“We were briefed, and given the information that there is an investigation. Based on that, the advice was to have a motion, and that’s what we agreed to do,” Furstenau said.
But the executive director for IntegrityBC, Dermod Travis, believes the process is unfair.
“What happened yesterday has put two individuals under a great deal of speculation. Great deal of innuendo about what they may or may not be under investigation for,” Travis said. “And the government should have been prepared for that. The speakers’ office should have been prepared for that.”
Late this afternoon, a few details from the Speakers’ office about the investigation. Specifically, Speaker Daryl Plecas had concerns about the clerk and sergeant at arms in January, which is why he hired a special advisor, Alan Mullen, back then.
“I was brought in for a number of different reasons. In January. There was regular concerns about a lot of things. Including this, yes,” Mullen said. But even then, Mullen refuses to release further details.
“We’re at the point now where we are giving it to the RCMP. We’re not making any further comment.”