Two BC legislature officials suspended and put on leave

Graham Cox / November 20, 2018

Outside the legislature building in downtown Victoria
(Storyblocks)

In an unexpected move on Tuesday morning, NDP House Leader Mike Farnworth announced that two officials, Craig James and Gary Lenz, were immediately being suspended and placed on administrative leave, amidst an RCMP investigation.

The BC Legislature website outlines James as the current Clerk of the House and Lenz as the Sergeant-At-Arms in charge of security. According to multiple reports, both officials were escorted from the legislature by police immediately following the announcement made by Farnworth, who said they will not be allowed back on the premises until the investigation concluded.

“As a consequence of an outstanding investigation, Mr. James and Mr. Lenz must not access legislative assembly networking equipment, systems or services, must not be present in any building that is defined by the legislative precinct.” – Mike Farnworth, NDP House Leader

Alan Mullen, special advisor to Speaker Darryl Plecas, also told reporters in Victoria that the RCMP is investigating allegations related to the two men, but no further details were given.

According to other reporters on site, James said he had been given no notice of the suspension and was shocked by the announcement.

The BC Prosecution Service also released a statement that said they’ve appointed two Special Prosecutors to provide legal assistance during the investigation.