B.C. auditor general to report on expense policies amidst legislature spending scandal
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Craig James makes a statement to media near Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz in Vancouver, on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (Ben Nelms / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C.'s auditor general is set to release a new report Thursday examining how expenses are handled in the office of three top legislature officials, after months of finger-pointing in the legislature spending scandal.
A news release from the auditor general's office said the report, entitled "Expense Policies and Practices in the Offices of the Speaker, Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms," will be released at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 19. No further details were immediately available and the office did not respond to calls for comment.
Speaker Darryl Plecas raised concerns around how public dollars were spent by both the legislature clerk and the sergeant-at-arms. Both men denied the claims.
A subsequent report by former Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin found clerk Craig James had "engaged in misconduct." The suspended clerk announced his retirement the same day.
The same report found suspended sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz did not engage in misconduct. He remains on paid leave and has said he hopes to return to his job.
The scandal erupted in October 2018 when the two officials were placed on paid leave after a vote by all members of the legislative assembly. The scandal grew with revelations of expensive suits, lavish trips and a $13,000 wood splitter and trailer paid for by taxpayers.
McLachlin also found a lack of accountability and culture of entitlement at the legislature.
In January the auditor general, Carol Bellringer, announced she had started a deep audit into the issues and had promised regular updates. She said at the time she expected the process to take about a year.