Suspended Sgt-at-arms Gary Lenz gives an interview from his backyard after being cleared of misconduct in a report by the Supreme Court justice while at his home North Saanich, B.C., on Thursday, May 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C.’s sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz resigns amid spending scandal

Reputation damage ‘will never be fully repaired,’ Lenz says

B.C.’s Sergeant-at-Arms, one of two men at the centre of an 11-month probe into allegations of misspending, has announced his resignation.

Lenz retired as of Monday, the speaker’s office said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. Lenz has been on paid administrative leave since November, following concerns raised by Speaker Darryl Plecas into Lenz and legislative clerk Craig James. Those concerns were reported in a bombshell report released in January by Plecas which highlighted the purchase of an unused wood splitter, designer suits and personal vacations.

WATCH: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Lenz issued a statement Tuesday, saying his resignation was tendered “with sincere regret” after serving in the post since 2009.

“After considerable reflection, I have concluded that the damage that has been done to my reputation will never be fully repaired, and that if I continued as Sergeant at Arms, I would be doing a disservice to my office.” Lenz said.

Plecas’s report sparked an independent investigation by former Supreme Court chief justice Beverly McLachlin, who found in May that while James committed administrative misconduct related to the misspendings Lenz was cleared.

James announced his retirement shortly after.

ALSO READ: Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

A second investigation by former Vancouver deputy police chief Doug LePard is expected to become public in the near future, according to Plecas and his chief of staff, Alan Mullen.

Meanwhile, James and Lenz are still being investigated by the RCMP and a pair of special prosecutors named as independent reviewers of the case.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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