By the numbers: Cost of investigation into spending scandal reaches $219K
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)
An investigation into allegations of improper spending by senior staffers at the B.C. legislature cost more than $200,000.
The B.C. Legislature confirms the total tab for the investigation into former clerk Craig James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz.
Lenz was cleared, but James was found to have "engaged in misconduct" in spending and receiving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
James reached a "non-financial" settlement with the legislature earlier this month and announced his retirement.
- Previous coverage: Legislature clerk retires as investigation finds misconduct
The investigation into claims that included extravagant trips, gifts and a $13,000 wood splitter and trailer was conducted by former Supreme Court chief justice Beverly McLachlin.
On Monday, CTV News Vancouver learned that the investigation cost a whopping $219,489.
About half of the total budget went to McLachlin. The breakdown is as follows:
$110,250 to the justice
$80,536 to Neil Abraham of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, who offered professional support to McLachlin
$17,600 for transcription services
$11,093 for travel and logistical arrangements
In her report, McLachlin blamed a confusing management structure, which created conditions where subordinates could approve expenses, and a "lack of accountability" led to blurred lines.
She found the total spending deemed misconduct to be around $275,000, but the total misspending identified by the Speaker was more than $780,000.
There are more investigations ongoing, including a workplace review, an audit and an RCMP investigation.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan in Victoria