WATCH: The man at the centre of the explosive report from B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas spoke to CHEK News on Friday. Craig James is currently on paid leave as clerk of the legislature, as is the sergeant-at-arms, Gary Lenz. Mary Griffin reports.
The B.C. legislature clerk’s home sits in a quiet cul-de-sac, a vehicle parked in the driveway next to a manicured garden.
On Friday, clerk Craig James comes to the door, and for the first time since the release of the 76-page Plecas report into alleged wrongdoing, spoke about the allegations against him and the sergeant-at-arms, Gary Lenz.
“We thought we would come and see if you wanted the opportunity to talk with us in light of everything that is going on?” CHEK reporter Mary Griffin asked.
“Probably later next week. We’re still responding to the Speaker’s report,” said James.
“Mr. Mullen has been on radio, television, everywhere. He’s saying that everything that’s happened is only the tip of the iceberg. When you hear this, I’m just wondering what you might be thinking?” Griffin asked.
“Well, I haven’t been watching the news or reading the papers. I’ve been focusing on responding to the Speaker’s report. And we’re expecting that it will be in the hands of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee towards the end of next week, or on the first,” said James.
When asked if he expects to be vindicated, he is confident.
“We’re expecting to be, yes,” said James.
Also on Friday, chief of staff to the Speaker, Alan Mullen, displays the $70 watch purchased at the House of Parliament Gift Shop in London and referenced in the report. The report states it on the desk of Speaker Darryl Plecas after a trip he took to London with James and Lenz.
“Kind of jokingly, the Speaker refers to it as his corruption watch,” said Mullen.
When asked for his reaction to Jame’s contention that both he and Lenz will be vindicated, Mullen said it will be an interesting discussion.
“I think that’ll be an interesting discussion. It’ll be one that I, just the same as any British Columbian, will be interested in hearing. I’m not making any accusations aside from, read the report. Oh and by the way, and look at the evidence that supports every single thing in this report,” said Mullen.
When asked about the $,3200 wood splitter, the symbolic image of the overspending allegations, James deferred.
“I’m not going to comment on any aspect of the Speaker’s report right now. I think that would be inappropriate. But all of that will be laid out in detail in our response,” said James.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH JAMES BELOW: