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

Schools get creative to provide food to students

Initiatives underway include providing gift cards

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Smithers relocates downtown homeless population

Bylaw officer Matt Davey says the move was made with buy-in from the affected people

UNBC opts for virtual convocation in June, commits to face-to-face after COVID-19

Interim president Geoff Payne said feedback prompted him to commit to traditional one when possible

Most Read