Ethics

Leaked: legislative officers’ defence

Craig James and Gary Lenz had no idea that someone would accuse them of doing wrong as they carried out onerous duties of public servants. Issues raised in the lengthy Plecas Report no doubt caused surprise.

Darryl Plecas reported on many incidents and the suspended officers of the Legislative Assembly are due to provide response on February 7.

An anonymous source leaked an incomplete list of the initial defences to be raised by Messrs. James and Lenz:

Mr. Speaker drew conclusions not based on facts proven in court. By convention since 2001, this defence is sufficient for all accusations raised against political appointees in British Columbia. However, we provide exculpatory explanations:

Each of us was undercover, gathering evidence of possible wrongdoing by the other. Because they were complex, our investigations lasted years. Had they been completed, citizens would have thanked one of us for diligence.

Travelling the world is not easy. We were absent from friends and family for extended periods, staying in unfamiliar places and eating unusual foods. Travel was an imposition, not a benefit. Our sacrifices meant others did not have to suffer.

As Liberals, we believe in low taxes. Having the Legislature pay for our goods and services was an effective strategy for us to reduce income tax. This allows improved recruitment and retention of people like us.

The Legislature has few areas for storage so, by keeping the log splitter and trailer at home without charging storage fees, we were doing BC taxpayers a favour. Any use we made of the equipment was to ensure its readiness in case the Legislature’s giant sequoia fell.

Taxpayers paid retirement benefits to us because we expected to retire. Our decisions not to retire came afterward, so payment of the extra hundreds of thousands of dollars to us was appropriate at the time.

We were testing financial oversight at the Legislature. Having proved existing measures ineffective, we were about to make corrections when the LAMC suspended us.

Despite our removal efforts, there was too much liquor at the Legislature. This may have resulted in certain behaviours beyond our control.

Everyone else was doing it.

The devil made us do it.

Categories: Ethics

21 replies »

  1. Is this just a joke, or is that incomplete list somewhere? (all that’s showing up here is a black square that looks like a video that isn’t loading, followed by the “The Devil made me do it” meme that’s rather fun).

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    • The new WordPress editor remains a work in progress. Imported text appeared OK within the editor but showed up as a black square when published. Perhaps that was karmic censorship but it was quickly corrected.

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    • When I first saw it, there was nothing but a black square and I thought that was the punch line….nothing.
      Now I see Gordon Campb…oops, I mean the devil.
      Too funny no matter how you look at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The devil made us do it is so funny but fitting. The entitled greedy trough divers and public fund abusers could always plead insanity using that metaphorical phrase.

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  3. And that, unfortunately, will probably get them off…….
    Will they get to store the log splitter in perpetuity, or only until they retire?
    (Silly people, they should have added a chain saw to cut the tree into splitable pieces.)

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  4. Not just these two criminals,we have to go back to th sale of B.C.R. pay out to Basi Virk,Campbell and his chief of staff ,Clark and the head of C.N.Rail at the time who now owns a air line the Christy used as premier.While at it how her brother Bruce and the Burnaby Hotel how he ran it on promises made and yhe outcome .These guys all smell the Libs have ruined our Province and yes we need to bring in an out of Province Auditor and to oversee Belleringer. This whole thing is distgusting, Lets not forget Colman and Timberwest his brother I beleive sat on the board of directors last I heard he had a cushy job at Barkerville a couple of years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich Coleman’s brother Stan was an executive with Western Forest Products. In 2008, CBC reported:

      B.C.’s Auditor General John Doyle has condemned former forests minister Rich Coleman for allowing a forestry company to remove land from three tree farm licences for residential development, citing the possibilities of conflicts of interest and insider trading by government staff.

      Rich Coleman’s brother Ed is CEO of publicly funded Barkerville Heritage Trust. As far as I know, he is respected for the work he does in that position.

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  5. That was precious, Norm. I think we need to do a Mueller on this pair. Squeeze ’em for all the skeletons in Christy Clark’s closet. Or, better yet, RICO the lot of them – Basi, Virk, Coleman, Clark and this dynamic duo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Total agreement.
      RICO laws are based in the US.
      Nothing I’d like better than to see Christy Clark sentenced to 20 years in a US Federal prison……

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  6. Prior to 2017, that defence would have resulted in the LAMC voting to absolve both officers.

    And in case anyone thinks differently, I offer the fact that MLA Throness actually attempted to have the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts commend the two deputies who cooked the secret and illegal Basi/Virk BC Rail plea deal.

    Mind you, Mr. Throness then voted against a motion to have the deputies appear before the committee to explain their “commendable” actions.

    The Devil is a busy guy.

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  7. It’s interesting to see Craig James’ words, as reported in the Globe and Mail,
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-bc-legislature-officers-respond-to-explosive-allegations/
    “. . . In his statement, Mr. James said he had responded as well as he could to the concerns raised about his behaviour, given the short time provided and “in the absence of access to records and staff.”
    “I maintain, as I have all along, that I have not done anything wrong which justifies the actions that have been taken against me, or the unfair and prejudicial manner in which those actions have been taken,” Mr. James said in his statement.
    “I am depending on the [Legislative Assembly Management Committee] and the members of the House to review the information that I have provided carefully, and treat me fairly,” he added.” . . .
    I expect Mr. James will get a buy out and fade quietly into the sunset, keeping all his secrets. I predict no messy criminal trial.
    And that the “audit” will be tepid, delayed and finally produce a mind-numbingly convoluted and essentially meaningless bureaucratic report with the lightest of wrist-slapping and yet another promise of better processes and oversight. Inappropriate contracts? Wrongful dismissals? Corruption? Nothing to see here!
    Darryl Plecas’ report was a bombshell and a clear indictment of all that is wrong with the legislature and the culture of entitlement and the much too cozy relationships including the senior MSM reporters.
    Maybe the Greens will run with this, they are probably clear of all previous entanglements with the Clerk.
    Maybe Plecas’ continued stick-handling and public opinion will force a real House cleaning.

    Liked by 1 person

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