Speaker Darryl Plecas and his new special adviser are under fire Thursday morning after B.C. Liberal House Leader Mary Polak presented a sworn affidavit that stated Plecas wanted to appoint his friend Alan Mullen as the acting sergeant-at-arms.
“In that meeting Darryl Plecas stated his wish that Alan Mullen be appointed as acting sergeant-at-arms of the legislature after the departure of Gary Lenz in that position,” said Polak. “Our response was no quite firmly.”
“It is not appropriate.”
But Plecas says this isn’t the entire story. The Speaker spoke briefly to reporters on Thursday morning and promised to return in the afternoon to provide additional information.
WATCH: Liberal MLA Mary Polak makes a sworn declaration about the on-going investigation at B.C. legislature
“I’m not sure you have the correct story,” Plecas said. “I am sure you will find it interesting what I have to say this afternoon.”
WATCH: ‘The public are entitled to the truth’: Liberal leader on B.C. legislature probe
But then in the afternoon Plecas never showed up, instead getting Mullen to read a prepared statement.
“I’m not taking any questions. I am just going to read a statement. I am confirming that the speaker has requested a second special adviser to advise on all things legal. The second adviser is the honourable justice Wally Oppal,” read Mullen.
Plecas met with the house leaders from the NDP, Liberals and Greens on Monday night to discuss putting clerk Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave. One of the suggestions in the meeting was putting Mullen in the position.
“That suggestion did take place,” NDP house leader Mike Farnworth said. “It was a very firm ‘no’ and everyone accepted that decision.”
WATCH HERE: Special investigator Allen Mullen holds B.C. legislature investigation update
There are questions circulating about the role Mullen has been playing in the ongoing investigation.
RCMP are now in the midst of criminal investigation looking into allegations brought forward against James and Lenz. The nature of those allegations are still unknown.
Two special prosecutors have been brought in for the investigation.
But what has been perplexing is what was being done in the Speaker’s office before the RCMP were called in. Mullen told reporters on Monday that the Speaker’s office has been investigating James and Lenz since January and turned over information to the authorities in August.
“Our goal is to make sure that the public have full information about the events of this week,” Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said. “This is a test for our democracy.”
WATCH HERE: Mystery surrounds investigation of key B.C. legislature officials
Premier John Horgan says the core issue is how quickly ‘can we see a resolution’ in the case that now involved two special prosecutors. He says he was just made aware yesterday that Mullen was conducting an investigation out of the speakers office.
But says the legislature is still running well, thanks primarily to the work of the deputies who have stepped in to the clerk’s role and the sergeant-at-arms job.
“There has been a seamless transition over the last couple of days in what have admittedly been some of the most difficult we have seen here in British Columbia in a long, long time,” Horgan said.