Report finds one of two BC Legislature officials engaged in misconduct
A report handed down by a retired BC Supreme Court Justice has found one of two BC Legislature officials engaged in misconduct.
Judge Beverly McLachlin's probe of questionable spending has cleared the sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz of wrongdoing in connection to violating rules of employment.
But she found legislative clerk Craig James engaged in misconduct on 4 of 5 spending abuse allegations made against him, including making improper expense claims for personal purchases.
New Democrat House Leader Mike Farnworth confirmed in the legislature that James has retired effective immediately with a non-financial settlement.
In a letter sent to media James said he had had enough, has been publicly ridiculed and vilified, and his family deeply hurt. He says he continues to suffer humiliation, and decided to retire to put an end to that.
James also says he provided detailed written submissions and supporting documents which are in the possession of the Legislative Assembly, and he wants them made public.
I believe the public has a right to see those submissions and documents, so they can know and understand the whole picture and judge the truth of these matters for themselves.
Meantime Lenz remains on paid administrative leave, including benefits, as 3 other investigations are underway -- including one by the RCMP.
Speaking to media outside his North Saanich home Lenz said the initial report in November led to his suspension, and contained allegations that were stunning and humiliating:
" The report shredded my reputation. It was done is such a public way, it was harmful. It stopped me from serving the people of British Columbia. It just, it was devastating."
Lenz says it was brutal and disrespectful, and led to him and his family being looked down on, scrutinized, and criticized.
" I went to a store, I've been there for 18 years. And I went to pay for a bill. And I put my personal credit card on the table and the person looks at me and he says, is that a government or is that your personal credit card? Whose is that?"
Lenz says what was done to him was wrong, and he wants to be a part of the solution to see that no one's name will ever be dragged through the mud in the future. Despite all that he says he wants his job back to serve the people of British Columbia.