Darryl Plecas said that the red flag began to sound about the claims of expenditure of his colleagues as soon as he began as Chair of the House of Representatives in BC. Legislature.
A few months into the work, amid what he described as growing concern over alleged "excessive" spending, Plecas hired an old acquaintance Alan Mullen as a full-time special advisor to help investigate.
"I feel unsure about who I can trust. The prospect of having my own choice of advisor is interesting," Plecas wrote in a 76-page report released on Monday, which contained a list of allegations.
Mullen, who initially met Plecas while working together in the prison justice system and later helped him with political campaigns, spoke with CBC Early edition host Stephen Quinn about allegations of spending in the new report.
House officials Craig James and Sergeant Gary Lenz, who were both suspended in November and escorted out of the legislature by police, have not been charged with any crimes and have denied wrongdoing.
James and Lenz said there was no reason for the investigation given to them and described being removed from the legislature as "public humiliation."
Was this handled properly, in terms of how was James and Lenz removed?
Back in November, we really couldn't share many things with them because we didn't want to do anything to thwart a potential police investigation. The only reason the Victorian police were present was because the sergeant was armed.
Also, they were offered to get out of the side door and take their belongings for them. They chose to make it a common thing, so the idea of "walking actor" was rather disproportionate.
Shouldn't Plecas have raised this issue before?
You can't just raise a problem.
If you will accuse someone, especially the two highest officials of the Legislative Council, you need to have something to support it.
That's what the speaker and I have done: collecting information and documents, talking to people and seeing evidence.
When you read this report, what do you think is the most disturbing guess?
There was a jacket purchase in London, buying a $ 3,000 wood splitter that went straight to Mr. James's private residence, travel – these things were very worrying.
But the most terrible thing is the idea of retirement benefits.
I don't understand how every British Columbia will agree with that. No one else gets a retirement benefit of $ 300,000.
It's really madness to accept a check for that amount of money when British Colombians try hard to meet their needs.
CBC requested interviews with Craig James and Gary Lenz.
We were told that they were reviewing the allegations and asking why Plecas had prepared the report without giving them a chance to respond.
Can you answer that question?
This is not a normal situation: these people are the highest appointed officers. They are appointed to the pleasure of the House and they must be removed by the pleasure of the House.
We want to sing this from the casings in December, but we are handcuffed by criminal investigations and processes from the Legislative Council.
This interview is broadcast on The Early Edition on January 22, 2019 and has been edited for clarity and structure. To hear the full interview, click audio below.