B.C. legislature executives Gary Lenz and Craig James speak from their lawyer’s office after their suspension, Nov. 27, 2018. (Black Press files)

B.C. legislature executives Gary Lenz and Craig James speak from their lawyer’s office after their suspension, Nov. 27, 2018. (Black Press files)

Suspended B.C. legislature officers respond to Speaker’s allegations

Craig James, Gary Lenz say they gave detailed answers to MLA committee

The suspended officers of the B.C. legislature have filed their responses to allegations of unnecessary spending from Speaker Darryl Plecas.

Their submissions to the MLA management committee were not released Thursday, but Clerk of the House Craig James and Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz issued statements saying they have responded in detail to the string of reports and documents that Plecas released after calling for a police investigation of legislature operations last summer.

James said he expects his response to be released.

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“I have responded to the concerns expressed about my behaviour as best as I can in the short time allowed to me and in the absence of access to records and staff,” James said. “I maintain, as I have all along, that I have not done anything wrong which justifies the actions that have been taken against me, or the unfair and prejudicial manner in which those actions have been taken.”

Lenz also called for his full response to be released.

“I have maintained from the day when I was publicly removed from my position and the legislative buildings under police escort that I have committed no wrongdoing,” Lenz said. “I urge the Legislative Assembly Management Committee to review my response carefully. It is my hope that I will quickly be exonerated.”

The committee, with representatives from the NDP, B.C. Liberals and B.C. Greens, is considering whether to continue their suspension with pay or take further action as RCMP and two special prosecutors go over evidence submitted to them by Plecas.

B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer has also indicated she will review operation of the B.C. legislature’s $70 million budget, a process that could take up to a year.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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