B.C.’s former sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz accused of ‘egregious breach of trust’

Suspended Sgt-at-arms Gary Lenz gives an interview from the backyard at his home in North Saanich, B.C., Thursday, May 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

A new report is accusing former B.C. legislature sergeant-at-arms (SAA) Gary Lenz of an “egregious breach of public trust.”

Former Vancouver deputy police chief Doug LePard concludes Lenz lied about what he knew of a 2013 incident where publicly paid for alcohol was loaded in former clerk Craig James’ car.

LePard’s report was released on Tuesday evening.

“SAA Lenz’s statement that he believed the liquor was being returned is demonstrably false, based on the totality of the evidence I gathered,” the report reads.

“SAA Lenz’s untruthful oral statements and written submissions to Justice McLachlin regarding the 2013 liquor incident – including with respect to his conversations with Speaker Plecas and Mr. Mullen in 2018 – constitute an egregious breach of public trust.”

Click to play video: 'Legislature sergeant-at-arms resigns'
Legislature sergeant-at-arms resigns

The B.C. legislature has been under an intense microscope since Darryl Plecas released a report in January looking into misspending. The report accused James and Lenz of misspending public funds.

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James retired after former Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin reviewed the allegations and found he committed administrative misconduct.

Lenz was found by McLachlin to have not committed misconduct and was hoping to return to his job. Those plans changed after Lenz resigned last week.

In a statement, Lenz said last week he resigned with “sincere regret” and says it has “been a privilege to serve the people of British Columbia” since 2009.

READ MORE: B.C. sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz resigns days before Police Act investigation to be released

“I have carried out my duties for the people of British Columbia with the utmost integrity and am proud of the many initiatives that have been put in place during my time as sergeant-at-arms,” the statement reads.

“However, I no longer believe that I can continue to work for the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. After considerable reflection, I have concluded that the damage that has been done to my reputation will never be fully repaired and that if I continued as sergeant-at-arms, I would be doing a disservice to my office.”

Global News has learned that Lenz saw a copy of LePard’s investigation before resigning.

Click to play video: 'New investigation of suspended B.C. legislature Sergeant-at-Arms'
New investigation of suspended B.C. legislature Sergeant-at-Arms

LePard concludes in the report that Lenz was not telling the truth when telling McLachlin he did not know where the liquor was going.

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“It is not believable and defies logic that SAA Lenz would not ask any questions about where the liquor was going,” the report reads.

“SAA Lenz failed to take even minimal, reasonable steps to determine what happened with the liquor he directed to be loaded into Mr. James’ truck on April 22, 2013, and to ensure it was properly accounted for. He therefore failed in his sworn duty as special provincial constable and the sergeant-at-arms, the top law enforcement official at the legislature.”

The RCMP are still investigating the allegations against Lenz and James. LePard’s report details the Police Act complaint was brought forward by Plecas’ chief of staff, Alan Mullen.

READ MORE: BC Liberals raise ‘grave concerns’ over Speaker’s actions in cloning hard drives of senior legislature staff

“For Justice McLachlin (or any investigator) to be able to carry out her work effectively, she needed to be able to rely upon those she interviewed to be truthful,” the report reads. “This is particularly true of a peace officer who swore an oath to ‘faithfully, honestly and impartially perform my duties as a special provincial constable.'”

In a written statement, Lenz said he disagrees with the findings in LePard’s report.

“I do not accept the conclusion reached by Mr. LePard that I did not give truthful testimony about my decision not to commence a formal investigation into the removal of alcohol from the legislative precinct by Mr. James in 2013. I dispute that finding in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

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“I have always told the truth in every matter related to my employment as sergeant-at-arms and I did so in the testimony that I gave to Mr. LePard’s investigation.”

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