Spending Scandal Update: Lenz exonorated, James retires
A report on the Overspending Scandal at the Legislature from Supreme Court of Canada Justice, Beverly McLachlin, was released today, clearing one of the two suspended officials.
Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz was cleared of all allegations, while House Clerk Craig James retired today after the report found he claimed money for personal use.
Speaking to press outside his house in Saanich, Lenz says he wants to get back to work, but the Legislature won't allow him back due to an ongoing police investigation.
"I am disappointed with this decision, however, I greatly respect the fair and independent process that is in place. I look forward to assisting the police in their investigation to resolve this matter. I am confident there will be no findings of wrongdoing."
He says he hasn't had a chance to speak with the police yet.
"We have a date that has been selected, I don't know that date yet it's with my lawyer, but I know it's going to be fairly soon. I look forward to those interviews, I look forward to being with police. I will answer any questions they have for as long as they have. I have done nothing wrong, and I and going to be looking so forward to clearing this up."
Lenz adds that when he was suspended in November, it was stunning and humiliating, and done very poorly.
"The report shredded my reputation. It was done in such a public way, it was harmful, it stopped me from serving the people of British Columbia, it was devastating"
He says the process 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. I went to pay for a bill. I put my personal credit card on the table and the person looks at me and says 'Is that a government, or is it a personal credit card? Who's is that?"
Lenz says what was done to him was wrong, and he wants to be a part of the solution that will make sure no one's name is unjustly dragged through the mud in the future.