Alan Mullen met B.C. legislature speaker while he was working as a correctional manager at Kent Institution in Agassiz. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Investigation into B.C. legislature officers began in January

RCMP brought in months after former prison administrator started

A former administrator at B.C.’ s Kent federal prison says he has been dealing with the “issues” that led to the suspension of B.C. legislature clerk Craig James and sergeant at arms Gary Lenz since January.

Alan Mullen held a brief news conference Wednesday, offering little new on the case that has seen the B.C. legislature’s top administration and security officers placed on administrative leave and ordered off the property.

Mullen confirmed that he was hired by Speaker Darryl Plecas in January “for a number of reasons,” including the concerns Plecas raised about James and Lenz.

Mullen said he presented information to the RCMP in late August, but offered no detail on what police are looking into.

Mullen said he met Plecas while he was a prison administrator and Plecas, a criminology professor, served as a prison judge at Kent. Plecas hired him as a special advisor at the beginning of 2018 at a salary of $75,000 a year, Mullen said.

Mullen clarified that he is not a lawyer, but was involved in “internal investigations” at Kent, a maximum security prison in Agassiz.

“As the months went on we gathered more information, and that got passed on,” Mullen told reporters at the legislature. “And that’s where it’s at now. We’re at the point now where we’re just giving it over to the RCMP, and we’re not making any further comment on that.”

James said Monday he was “numb” and shocked when he was abruptly told by Plecas that he and Lenz were to turn in their keys and leave immediately, escorted by police. They are not charged with anything and received no indication of what allegations have been made, James said.

RELATED: Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Lenz is a long-time RCMP officer himself, responsible until his suspension for security matters as well as ceremonial duties as sergeant at arms.

James first served as B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer before joining the legislature staff. As clerk of the house, James is the administrator of the legislative assembly, with a salary of more than $300,000 a year.


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