B.C. legislature Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz and Clerk of the House Craig James. (Black Press files)

Suspended B.C. legislature officers protest their treatment

Craig James, Gary Lenz ask MLAs to reinstate them

In an emotional statement from their Vancouver lawyer’s office Monday, B.C. legislature officers Craig James and Gary Lenz called for MLAs to reinstate them and described the impact of their sudden suspension last week on their families and reputations.

“Gary and I have been deeply humiliated,” James told reporters, after he and Lenz described how they still don’t know what they are accused of doing.

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms escorted out

RELATED: Timeline of events in B.C. legislature investigation

Asked about possible financial irregularities in the management of the legislature’s $70 million budget, James described the protections and oversight he has established to report to MLAs as “bullet proof.”

“It’s safe to say that we have 87 bosses, and sometimes that can sometimes be quite a task,” James said, referring to the MLAs from around B.C.

Lenz said his job involves working with police on security matters, but he and James said neither has been interviewed by police about anything involving their actions.

In a letter to party house leaders released Monday, Speaker Darryl Plecas said the B.C. legislature can vote to reinstate James and Lenz, after MLAs hastily passed a motion to suspend them Nov. 20.

Plecas’s letter also responded to issues raised in a letter from a lawyer for James and Lenz, demanding that they be reinstated to their jobs and told what the allegations are against them. Plecas said at their meeting of Nov. 19, the house leaders discussed the possibility of asking the two independent officers to take a voluntary suspension and rejected it.

“Even if one or both of the officers did agree to depart on short notice, difficult legal issues would arise if one or both officers later asserted the right to return before the criminal investigation was complete,” Plecas wrote.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

Police look for vehicle, male driver after incident involving girl, 11

The driver was described as an older Caucasian male with white hair, no glasses, and no facial hair

Anger growing among B.C. salmon anglers shut out of public fishery

Fisheries minister stands by “very difficult” decisions to limit openings

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read