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

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive again on Oct. 21 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Search continues for bear wandering through Saanich

Bear spotted eating garbage near Elk Lake Wednesday, B.C. Conservation says

Some 30 people including a dozen youth participated in North Saanich’s first ever Fridays for Future protest outside of municipal hall on Mills Road Friday, according to organizers. (Anne-Marie Daniel/Submitted)
Fridays for Future plans second event for North Saanich after inaugural protest

Some 30 people attended first protest on Oct. 9 with a second one scheduled for Oct. 23

A Saanich police officer in an unmarked vehicle stopped a driver going 70 km/h over the speed limit in front of the police department. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver caught going 70 km/h over the speed limit in front of the Saanich Police Department

Officer in unmarked car issues $483 ticket, week-long vehicle impound

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read