BC legislative officials claim Apple Music subscriptions as business expenses – and thousands more in eyebrow replacement


VICTORIA – B.C. Suspended legislative officers and sergeants in hand were accused of hundreds of thousands of dollars in "excessive over-spending" in a report produced Monday by Chair Darryl Plecas. Officer Craig James and sergeant boss, Gary Lenz claimed improper expenses, continued luxury travel abroad where little work was done, and distributed questionable pensions and paid benefits, according to the report. Here are five of the wildest expenses claimed in the 76-page report.

House Speaker, Darryl Plecas.

Chad Hipolito / The Canadian Press photo file

$ 3,000 wood breaker and $ 10,000 trailer

The wood breaker for $ 3,200.91 was bought by B.C. legislative assembly, but never delivered there. The report claims it was sent to James's private residence where it was used by James and Lenz. The receipt for the splitter said it would be taken by "Craig." RCMP now has a wood splitter. A trailer for more than $ 10,000 was also bought and then materialized in the assembly parking lot, even though no one knew for sure how to get there.

"Justification for the Legislative Council that buys wood splitters is that if a crisis situation befalls the Legislative Assembly and if during the crisis a fallen tree on the Legislative land, there might be a need to split the tree for firewood. to be used in the Legislative Body, "the report wrote. "The speaker has difficulty accepting that reason, as seen in the scenario

very remote, and in any case – even assuming external Emergency Services do not can attend and handle this scenario – saws and axes will appear enough.

"It is difficult to understand how it helped the Legislative Council to have a machine in Mr. James's house, which was used for his personal needs."

Holiday policies and payments

The report stated that several hundred thousand dollars were paid to James and Lenz on holidays which were allegedly not used and extended. The department has a policy of not being extended more than five days per year and using less than 15 holiday days per year. In 2015, James used only six of the 35 days his vacation was given. He was paid for 29 days. In 2018, Lenz was paid 49 days, which included rolling days, and was given 35. The report estimated that payments had reached 20 percent of their salary in a few years.

"Many witnesses with relevant first-hand knowledge inform Speaker that good Mr. James and Mr. Lenz practices acceptance regularly payment in lieu of their vacation day. Eyewitnesses also stated that Mr. James and Mr. Lenz seems to regularly take time off and vacation, but often doesn't record it as official holiday. In the case of Mr. James, for example, that observed by a number witnesses that he was rarely seen at work on Friday, "said the report.

"A Reviews of relevant records confirm that Mr. James and Mr. Lenz noted almost no official vacation – and in Mr.'s case Lenz, where are he years has taken zero officially registered holidays, and instead is paid as a substitute overall vacation day. "

Charges on the August 2018 trip to London

The report stated that three per diem meals were claimed on every day of travel by James, including the first, when the "business" part of the day only began at 6:30 a.m. Lenz claimed a meal replacement of $ 487.91 for dinner at the Royal Air Force Club. James and Plecas were also there, but did not claim this replacement. Even though James claimed extra meals per day for the day.

"On August 7 and 8, even though breakfast is included in the hotel room rate, Mr. Lenz claims full per diem," said the report.

They bought "uniforms" (read: suits and shirts) at a London store called Ede & Ravenscroft on August 3. James bought charcoal suits, bookmarks, and two other items for a total of $ 1,327.29. "Black court suit" is handwritten on the receipt. Lenz bought a set of studs onyx and silver, a set of mother-of-pearl, mother-of-pearl studs, and a Marcella wing shirt with a total cost of $ 666.11. James made reimbursement claims for some purchases at the gift shop which, according to reports, were difficult to justify as business expenses. They include: diaries, notebooks, chocolates, Royal Wedding memorabilia, books, card games and cufflinks. Items amount to more than $ 1.3000 for almost 10 days.

A very luxurious taxi

Instead of taking a regular taxi or even public transportation, James regularly booked trips through executive travel companies. They were then released to the Legislative Assembly. One trip, on August 6, from the Park Plaza Hotel, London, to Ettington, about two hours drive, costs more than $ 900. A round trip to and from Heathrow and the Park Plaza Hotel costs $ 300 one way on December 2 and 6 2017. Fees from December 2017 to August 2018 amount to $ 3,037.40 for eight trips.

Digital subscription

James claims his Apple Music subscription is claimed to be business expenses, as well as iCloud storage subscriptions. Other digital subscriptions include newspapers, which according to the report can be justified as business expenses. But others seem to be more personal: Bicycling magazine, Electric Bike Action magazine, Palm Springs Life magazine, Arizona Highway magazine, The sea Traffic – Ship Tracking and Popular Mechanics. Within a month, claims for digital subscriptions amount to $ 720.47

With files from Vancouver Sun


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