Alan Mullen, chief of staff to Speaker Darryl Plecas, takes questions at the B.C. legislature after senior staff members were suspended and police called, November 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. Legislature Speaker Darryl Plecas says there will be no comment on his chief of staff’s road-trip tour of provincial and U.S. state legislatures until a report to the MLA committee is made this fall.

Plecas was responding to the latest questions from the B.C. Liberal opposition about Alan Mullen’s tour of the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario legislatures to look at their security arrangements. The road trip cost $13,000, returning on the U.S. side with visits scheduled to state legislatures in Wisconsin, Iowa, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

“Any further information on this matter will be presented to LAMC [the Legislative Assembly Management Committee] once the report is complete,” Plecas told Black Press in an email. “I expect that will be towards the end of September.”

Langley MLA Mary Polak, the B.C. Liberal house leader, sent a letter to Plecas this week, asking if appointments were confirmed before the trip began. She said Plecas has provided no answers to committee members a month after they asked for a detailed itinerary.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that LAMC should learn about the costs of this road trip from media reports,” Polak said. “Worse still, we now know that the Speaker’s hand-picked staffer didn’t even meet with the Speaker or Sergeant at Arms in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Ontario. Frankly, without a detailed itinerary we have no idea what he was actually doing.”

Polak’s letter also asks if driving across the country was the least expensive option, and whether Mullen made the trip alone.

Mullen has been a controversial addition to Plecas’s office since he was brought in to help investigate spending and travel practices of senior B.C. legislature staff. Former Clerk Craig James and Sergeant at Arms Gary Lenz were suspended from their jobs last fall, and James took early retirement after Plecas released a report in January detailing trips to

England, Scotland and Seattle, and questionable purchases including clothing, gifts and a wood splitter.

RELATED: B.C. legislature clerk retires after wrongdoing found

VIDEO: B.C. clerk, sergeant at arms led from legislature by police

Lenz remains on paid leave, after former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley MacLachlin cleared him of any improper activities.

The B.C. Prosecution Service appointed two special prosecutors on Oct. 1, 2018 to look into the billings and activities of James and Lenz. Since then Auditor General Carol Bellringer has begun a review of the B.C. legislature’s $70 million annual operating budget, which includes security and operation of 60 MLA constituency offices around the province.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Liberals’ Kootenay-Columbia candidate stands by Trudeau despite scandal

Robin Goldsbury says the prime minister’s racist photo is a learning opportunity

Canal Flats pavilion gets a financial boost

Trust provides over $1.9 million for 12 community projects

Windermere carnival this Sunday

Fundraiser event features bouncy castles, games, reptile room, laser tag, food and fun

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Canada continues to win at world indoor lacrosse championships in B.C.

Results of the action from day two of the 2019 World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor World Championship

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

Most Read