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Former top B.C. legislature official investigated by RCMP for breach of trust: reports

Last Updated Nov 22, 2019 at 7:05 pm PST

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Craig James and Gary Lenz were suspended from the BC Legislature after accused of lavish spending on the public dime

An found James engaged in misconduct but cleared Lenz

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Newly unsealed court documents obtained by PostMedia show former Clerk of the B.C. Legislature Craig James is under investigation for breach of trust.

His purchase of a wood splitter is the focus of an RCMP probe prompting his suspension last year, according to PostMedia.

No charges have been recommended, but the heavily-redacted documents reportedly show he’s accused of buying the equipment for personal use.

The wood splitter was removed from his home under police supervision, along with other equipment, and Mounties spoke with witnesses who say it was never used at the legislature.

James resigned in May of 2019 following the release of a report which found he improperly accepted retirement benefits amounting to almost $260,000.

Both James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz were suspended with pay in November of 2018 after they were accused of lavish spending on the public’s dime. Both denied the accusations at the time, calling the situation inaccurate and illogical.

Retired judge Beverly McLachlin conducted an independent investigation earlier this year into whether misconduct had taken place, and found it had. She found James engaged in misconduct, made expense claims for improper purchases, and removed and used legislative property.

Lenz, however was cleared. He resigned in October, 2019.

Both men, who occupied the most powerful non-elected posts in the provincial government, have denied any wrongdoing.