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BC Auditor General to review alleged questionable legislative expenses

Last Updated Jan 31, 2019 at 2:42 pm PDT

FILE (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) –¬†Questionable expenses at the heart of an RCMP investigation of two top B.C. legislature officials are now being reviewed by the auditor general’s office, but that examination could take a year to complete.

Auditor General Carol Bellringer says the scope of her audit, in the wake of last week’s explosive report from Speaker Darryl Plecas, hasn’t been clarified yet.

“We are going to try to break it up into small pieces if you will so that there can be public reporting on each piece as we complete it so that everyone’s not sitting there for a year to hear from us.”

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Carol Bellringer says “it’s going to be [a] very deep” investigation, noting she plans to release important information in a timely manner.

“Each part as we finish it, we’ll issue it publicly, so that there isn’t an expectation that you won’t hear from us for another year, but rather, we will update them monthly and then, we’ll see at what point we can issue each piece publicly.”

Bellringer has been careful not to call this a forensic audit saying that normally falls under police responsibilities.

Her audit comes in the wake of Plecas’ 76-page report linked to the sudden suspension last year of Sgt. at Arms Gary Lenz and longtime Legislature clerk Craig James.

Meanwhile, Craig James and Gary Lenz now have until 4 p.m. Feb. 7 to provide a written response to concerns raised by the report.

They were initially ordered to report to the three House Leaders of the Legislative Assembly — Mike Farnworth, Mary Polak and Sonia Furstenau — by this Friday.