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

Cumberland joins other communities in plastic ban response

Village collaborates with Squamish, Tofino following court’s quash of single-use regulation

Construction set to start on Comox Valley Water Treatment Project

Final steps are moving ahead in order to begin construction on the… Continue reading

Call out for artists to participate in Keeping It Living art show for Kus-kus-sum project

Comox Valley Project Watershed Society, in collaboration with Bayside Cafe, is hosting… Continue reading

Courtenay achieves climate action milestone

The City of Courtenay’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in corporate… Continue reading

Comox Valley climate crisis series continues with a look at local altered landscapes

World Community’s four-part series Addressing the Climate Crisis: Activism, Adaptation, and Resilience… Continue reading

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

Busy month of August for Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society

The following is a monthly update providing readers with a glimpse of… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read