Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz (left) and Clerk of the House Craig James were removed from BC Legislature by police on Tuesday. (File photo)

Police, prosecutors tight-lipped about legislature investigation

Craig James and Gary Lenz were removed from the B.C. Legislature by police on Tuesday

Two special prosecutors have been working on an investigation surrounding two senior staff members at the B.C. Legislature since October.

On Tuesday morning, Clerk of House Craig James and Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz were escorted out of the B.C. Legislature by police for unspecified reasons.

In a release put out by the BC Prosecution Service, it was revealed that the RCMP put forward a request for the appointment of a special prosecutor on Sept. 28 to assist them in their investigation.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General (ADAG) Peter Juk, “concluded, based on the request and the information available about the allege circumstances of the case that the appointment of Special Prosecutors is in the public interest,” the BCPS statement reads. “Given the potential size and scope of the investigation, the ADAG determined that two Special Prosecutors would be appointed.”

READ MORE: Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Crown counsel David Butcher and Brock Martland were appointed on Oct. 1 and have offered legal advice to the RCMP, conducted an independent assessment to make any charging decisions, and are responsible for writing a report to the ADAG about their decisions. Both Butcher and Martland will be involved in any future prosecutions or appeals surrounding the investigation.

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Following the removal of James and Lenz, the RCMP issued a brief statement:

“We are aware of the activities that took place yesterday (Nov 20) at the BC Legislature. The RCMP has an active investigation underway, with respect to allegations pertaining to their administrative duties, and we are not in a position to provide any other details or specifics. A thorough investigation is underway and will take the time necessary. Given the nature and the roles of the individuals involved, the RCMP sought the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.”

While local police are not involved in the investigation, their presence was requested on Tuesday.

“Independent of the investigation itself, at the request of the Speaker of the BC Legislature, VicPD officers attended the Legislature … to stand by during the suspension and removal of the Clerk and Sergeant-at-arms,” said VicPD spokesperson Const. Matt Rutherford.

No new light was shed on the investigation at the Legislature on Wednesday; Attorney General David Eby simply stated “I can’t comment on this matter because there’s an active investigation right now and I don’t want to compromise it.”

Neither James nor Lenz claim to know what the investigation is about.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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