Speaker's chief of staff: More 'damaging' reports coming in legislature scandal
Published Friday, February 15, 2019 2:44PM PST
Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2019 5:09PM PST
At least two reports - including one with “damaging” information - are in the works, says the chief of staff to Darryl Plecas.
In an interview with CTV News Friday, Alan Mullen says next week the Speaker will provide a rebuttal to detailed statements filed by the two most senior officers at the legislature who are currently on administrative leave with pay.
Mullen says the report is very detailed and will be provided to members of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Monday, and be discussed at a meeting Thursday.
The two men have categorically denied any wrongdoing, and pointed out many of the expenses now questioned by the speaker were signed off by him.
Mullen says it is his and the Speaker’s wish the latest report be made public. He says the document will contain some new information as well as some clarification.
“It is nothing but evidence-based and I think everyone’s going to be very interested to see the response,” said Mullen. He says allegations Plecas was overly concerned about a possible recall campaign will also be addressed, as he insisted the Speaker was only looking for information.
There’s also another report that Mullen says is in the works, that focuses on current and former employees, that he says will be stunning.
“People will say 'Wow, well, stop the presses,'” he added. “We’re talking about a lot of serious information here - people who are suicidal because of their treatment and lots of damaging stuff coming there.”
Mullen didn’t elaborate on who was allegedly mistreating others.
Mullen says people are coming forward on a near-daily basis. And that the current scandal is just “the tip of the iceberg.”
The legislature was plunged into chaos after Clerk Craig James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz were put on administrative leave with pay and walked out of the building under police escort.
For months, rumours swirled and on Jan. 21 the Speaker released an explosive 76-page report detailing lavish trips, and questionable spending.
James and Lenz responsed to the allegations on Feb. 7, saying they felt they were being unfairly treated. Their responses, leaked to CTV, include references to trips and expenses authorized by the speaker. James also alleges the Speaker was preoccupied with the possibility of a recall campaign and didn’t want to upset the NDP.
Two special prosecutors are overseeing an RCMP investigation and none of the allegations has been proven in court. No charges have been laid. It’s unclear when or if RCMP will comment.
As of Friday an agenda for the LAMC meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21 hadn’t been posted but Mullen says he thinks a motion to look at the employment status of the two men will be part of the discussion. He says the committee could vote to keep the pair on administrative leave with pay, administrative leave without pay, reinstate them, or terminate their employment. The final decision will be up to the legislative assembly.