B.C. Liberal house leader Mary Polak and leader Andrew Wilkinson describe meeting with Speaker Darryl Plecas at B.C. legislature, May 30, 2019. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Darryl Plecas seized hard drives of senior B.C. legislature staff, Liberals say

Premier rejects opposition leader’s offer of an MLA to replace speaker

B.C. legislature speaker Darryl Plecas has rejected the findings of former chief justice Beverley McLachlin on financial activities by senior staff and resumed his own investigation, including seizing computer drives, B.C. Liberal house leader Mary Polak says.

Polak described a three-hour meeting with Plecas, NDP MLA Gary Begg and B.C. Green house leader Sonia Furstenau Wednesday night, at which she said Plecas was pounding on the table and accusing legislature security officers of corruption.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said after seeing Plecas and his assistant Alan Mullen removing a computer from a security office late Wednesday evening, and hearing of his accusations about legislature security officers, Wilkinson tried to meet with Premier John Horgan Thursday morning to offer an MLA to replace Plecas.

Horgan rejected that idea, telling reporters Thursday afternoon that Plecas is speaker for as long as he wants to be.

Plecas spoke to reporters earlier in the day, saying he brought in an outside company to copy computer drives from the acting sergeant at arms and acting clerk to secure data as he and Mullen continue their own investigation.

Polak released her notes from the Wednesday evening meeting, and described Plecas pounding on the table and rejecting the McLachlin’s findings. McLachlin cleared sergeant at arms Gary Lenz of any misconduct in his legislature expenses, and found that clerk Craig James did misuse legislature expense records.

The RCMP and two special prosecutors are still investigating the original accusations made by Plecas after he took several trips with James and Lenz. James reached a deal to retire, and Lenz has indicated he wants to return to work.

The two remaining senior security officers, Randy Ennis and Ron Huck, announced they are retiring with the end of the spring legislature session. Ennis, a former military officer, has been acting as sergeant at arms since Lenz and James were suspended and escorted out of the legislature last November.

Plecas rejected suggestions that staff members were quitting because of his actions. Wilkinson said security staff are considering joining a union to give them protection from Plecas.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claims already being staked after GeoScience BC report released

In the first 15 days following the report, a total of 34 new claims were staked.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Waulkwass River

A kingfisher and some trumpeter swans came by close enough to get a few shots.

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Port McNeill’s Barb Drennan named forest technologist of the year

“Her work with the Heiltsuk First Nation is a model for other forest professionals”

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read