Thursday , June 1 2023

Officials of the suspended lawyer do not make any mistake


The lawyer representing two senior officials was suspended and escorted by B.C. Legislation days ago says his clients have done nothing wrong and still do not know why they are under investigation.

In a letter provided by CBC to a CBC, lawyer Mark D. Andrews also condemned the hasty suspension of Sergeant Gary Lenz and the clerk of Craig James House demanding immediate restitution.

Escorted by the police

On Tuesday, the leaders of the Chambers unanimously voted to pass a motion that put Lenz and James on vacation indefinitely awaiting the RCMP investigation. The police escorted the men in the legislature as soon as the movement passed.

James and B.C. Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz is the subject of a criminal investigation. 0:59

Andrews sent the family leaders' letter Friday, saying he had no explanation for "this extreme treatment."

"Craig James and Gary Lenz deny that they have committed any illegality and have the right to be treated as innocent until proved guilty." As a matter of basic fairness, they deserve to be told what they are supposed to do and give them an opportunity to respond to these statements. "Read the letter.

Politicians still uninformed

Andrews noted in the letter that press statements made it clear that politicians do not have any information about the survey, either – making it inappropriate to vote their suspensions.

"This was inappropriate, you should have been given enough information to form a reasoned judgment on the movement and the need to take such draconian action," Andrews continued.

"The mere fact that there is an investigation is not a sufficient basis to suspend them from their posts."

House leaders confirmed to CBC that they had received copies of the letter.

Gary Lenz's central sergeant, escorted from the security legislature, after he and the clerk of Craig James House – two key officials in the British Columbia legislature – were placed on unlimited leave, pending a criminal investigation Tuesday. (Dirk Meissner / Canadian Press)

Andrews said one of the special prosecutors charged with the investigation, David Butcher, said the special prosecutors, and the RCMP did not ask Lenz and James to be removed from their roles in the Chamber.

There was immediate action

At the end of the letter, Andrews begs the House leaders to take "immediate" action to cancel Tuesday's motion.

"Time is essential if some of the damage to our clients … is to be canceled," the lawyer wrote.

Andrew also compared Lenz and James's situation with the illicit violations of the eight employees of the Ministry of Health in 2012. Those "dismissals" of layoffs, Andrew said, had been guided by "suspicion and a flawed investigation."

"We consider with respect that these mistakes seem to be repeated," wrote the lawyer.

Read the whole letter below:

Liberals ask for answers

On Friday, opposition leader Mary Polak issued a letter to House President Darryl Plecas for an emergency meeting of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee.

This body partly exists for the "development of policies for the administration and financial management of the Legislative Assembly". A Liberal spokesman said the meeting did not happen.

A few hours after Polak's letter, the Liberals sent a second letter, this time addressed to NDP House Leader Mike Farnworth and Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau.

This letter has posed a number of questions about how the government has treated the business so far.

Read the whole letter below:

Strict officials

The RCMP did not give details of the nature of the investigation surrounding Lenz and James, but a clearer calendar, which led to the suspension of bombs, began to appear on Wednesday.

During a press conference, Alan Mullen – a special advisor to Plecas – said Plecas hired him in January, citing his concerns about Lenz and James.

Mullen quietly investigated men for seven months and reported his findings to the RCMP in August. The RCMP contacted the Crown in the following month, and since then two special prosecutors have been appointed.

On Thursday, Polak revealed another twist of scandal: he read a statement around him swearing to reporters saying Plecas had months before the suspension that Mullen was named Lenz's temporary replacement.

Opposition leaders raise concerns about the speaker's plan to call a friend as a sergeant-to-arm. 0:52

Polak said that Farnworth and Furstenau immediately denied Plecas' request.

Wally Oppal was named

After Polak's announcement, Plecas avoided the media – but Mullen stepped out of the president's office to announce that he was named a second special advisor to guide Plecas on "legal issues."

Mullen announced on Thursday afternoon that the former judge and prosecutor general Wally Oppal was named the second special counselor for the speaker. 0:32

Former B.C. Advocate General Wally Oppal has entered this role.

Current Deputy Registrar Kate Ryan-Lloyd was appointed as Registrar and Deputy Sergeant-to-Arms Randy Ennis as Sergeant-to-Arms awaiting the investigation.

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