B.C. legislature scandal: Speaker tried to appoint friend as interim sergeant-at-arms

House leaders told Darryl Plecas that was inappropriate, Mary Polak says

B.C. legislature Speaker Darryl Plecas suggested his friend and assistant Alan Mullen be appointed as an interim replacement the night before the abrupt suspension of its two top administrative officers, B.C. Liberal house leader Mary Polak said Thursday.

Polak told reporters that she and other party house leaders were called to a meeting with Plecas at 8 p.m. Monday to discuss how to proceed after the appointment of special prosecutors to supervise an investigation into unknown allegations against the top administrators of the legislature, Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz and Clerk of the House Craig James.

James and Lenz were placed on paid administrative leave the following morning and escorted from the legislature by local police. James said he had no indication of what allegations he was facing and was seeking legal advice.

When Plecas raised the suggestion that Mullen be appointed sergeant at arms on an interim basis, Polak said she and NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said ‘no’ and the meeting moved to other topics.

“During that meeting, Speaker Darryl Plecas stated his wish that Alan Mullen be appointed as acting sergeant at arms of the legislature after the departure of Gary Lenz from that position,” Polak said, reading from a sworn affidavit. “Our response was no, quite firmly.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wouldn’t comment on whether Mullen should continue as a political advisor to Plecas, a previously unknown role, appointed without the knowledge of MLAs.

“I think all of us are concerned to find out that there had been a seven-month long investigation by someone with no legal training or policing experience, and that this was being effectively hidden from the accountable assembly, which is the legislature,” Wilkinson said.

RELATED: Investigation of legislature officers started in January

NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said Polak’s affidavit is accurate, and he too rejected the suggestion that Mullen be appointed. The legislature is expected to consider temporary appointments for the position as soon as Thursday afternoon.

“I have confidence in the speaker and I know that he is going to be receiving additional resources,” Farnworth said. “I know this is a challenging time.”

The decision to place James and Lenz on administrative leave was made after legal advice from the Attorney General’s ministry, Farnworth said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Locals shine in Rumble in Rock Creek

Young B.C. boxers slugged it out at the Rock Creek Fair Grounds last Saturday

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Students rock Greenwood Community Hall

Grade 6 and 7 students performed songs from every decade since the 1950s

Your flower garden could be harbouring invasive species

Seeds for invasive species often hid in wildflower seed packs

Interior Health study offers take-home drug testing kits to spot fentanyl

Interior Health to evaluate safety of at home drug testing kits aimed at reducing fentanyl overdoses

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Most Read