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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clinton and District Community Forest passes audit

According to a news release from Forest Practices Board on Feb. 19,… Continue reading

Research casts ‘last stop sign on Trans-Canada’ claim into doubt

Sign was removed from junction of Highways 1 and 97 in Cache Creek in February 1984

Savona athletes head to BC Winter Games

Akira Susanj and Alexander Teague competing in karate events

Ashcroft councillor wants to revisit Village’s burning bylaw

Raven Nyman’s regular report on Ashcroft council

Cache Creek unsuccessful in bid for Quartz Road bridge funding

Highlights from the most recent meeting of Cache Creek council

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read