MLA’s former staffer charged with theft, fraud

Rob Fleming says he reported 'shocking discovery' to Victoria police, thefts from his MLA office may date back to 2009

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming

A former constituency assistant in NDP MLA Rob Fleming’s office has been charged with theft, fraud and writing forged cheques from constituency funds.

Marnie Ruth Offman appeared in court today to face three charges, said a statement issued by special prosecutor Dirk Ryneveld, who was appointed June 8. The charges relate to a six-year period from March 2009 to Nov. 28, 2015.

“I made a complaint to the Victoria Police Department after making the shocking discovery that funds were missing from my office,” Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake since 2005, said in a statement.

“This has been a very disturbing matter for me because it involves someone I worked closely with. Constituency office employees have the trust of the MLA and the community they serve so it is gravely disappointing to have that trust violated.”

Victoria Police issued a statement confirming they were contacted by Fleming on May 18, and that they recommended the three charges after investigating. “Detectives believe that no one else was involved in this matter,” the statement says.

The Vancouver Sun reported that the investigation looked at $120,000 that has gone missing since 2009.

Constituency offices for B.C.’s 85 MLAs receive about $120,000 per year to cover office rent, staff salaries and expenses.