May 2, 2019 5:40 pm
Updated: May 2, 2019 6:02 pm

B.C. house leaders receive McLachlin report on allegations against clerk, sergeant-at-arms

Former chief justice Beverly McLachlin has delivered her report on allegations of misconduct against two senior provincial officials to B.C. house leaders.

Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press
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Beverly McLachlin has submitted her highly anticipated report on the allegations against clerk of the B.C. legislature Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz.

The former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to produce an independent fact-finding review of allegations of misconduct against the two most senior permanent officers of the legislative assembly. The report is now in the hands of NDP house leader Mike Farnworth, Liberal house leader Mary Polak and Green house leader Sonia Furstenau.

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“The house leaders will review Justice McLachlin’s final report with thorough consideration of its contents. Any decisions will be made after careful consideration of the information provided and in accordance with legal advice received,” a statement from the house leaders read.

“The house leaders are very grateful to Justice McLachlin for undertaking this important work for the legislative assembly.”

McLachlin was asked to determine whether James and Lenz “engaged in misconduct in the course of their employment as permanent officers of the legislative assembly.” The investigation focused on the publicly released reports from Speaker Darryl Plecas and the response from James and Lenz.

WATCH: Former chief justice of Canada to review Plecas Report

Lenz and James have been on administrative leave with pay since they were removed from their positions in November. The MLAs are expected to decide whether the pair should be fired, kept on leave with pay, be moved to leave without pay, or returned to their jobs.

McLachlin was asked specifically to investigate five separate allegations against Lenz and James and whether they amount to misconduct. Those allegations include:

  1. If they improperly, and knowingly, received improper payouts of vacation pay by reason of their failure to record vacation leave.
  2. If they improperly made purchases of a personal nature and expensed them to the legislature.
  3. If they improperly claimed and received retirement allowances.
  4. If they improperly removed legislature assets and property.
  5. If they improperly used legislature property beyond an incidental or reasonable work-related purpose.

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