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Prosecutors decline further charges in B.C. Legislature spending scandal following final RCMP report

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Prosecutors decline further charges in B.C. Legislature spending scandal following final RCMP report

Crown prosecutors narrate no further charges will likely be approved in connection with an investigation into a spending scandal on the B.C. Legislature that resulted in the ouster of two high legislative officers. 

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Craig James, the former clerk of the B.C. Legislature, retired in 2019 after an investigative report was as soon as made public. (Ben Nelms/Canadian Press)

Particular prosecutors gain declined further charges in connection to a spending scandal on the B.C. Legislature that resulted in the exit of two high legislative officers. 

The B.C. Prosecution Provider stated Tuesday that the 2 prosecutors assigned to the case had got the final RCMP report investigating the spending activities of senior workers on the legislature. 

David Butcher and Brock Martland declined to approve charges beyond the six that had been originally laid against Craig James, the former clerk of the house, the provider stated. 

“The particular prosecutors concluded that the charge evaluate identical outdated was as soon as now not met with respect to any charges beyond of us that gain already been approved,” the provider stated in an announcement. 

It manner former sergeant-at-fingers Gary Lenz, who was as soon as suspended with James in November 2018, could possibly additionally now not face charges.

“I’m gratified with the choice of the particular prosecutors on the subject of the allegations against me,” Lenz stated in a written commentary.

“As of late, we glance the how neatly British Columbia’s criminal justice machine capabilities. I in reality gain continuously maintained my innocence and now it is apparent for everyone to look.”

He added: “I look forward to putting this ordeal behind me and enjoying my retirement with my beloved ones.” 

In court final month, James pleaded now not responsible to some counts of breach of have faith and two counts of fraud over $5,000. A think tossed out the sixth charge earlier this twelve months, arguing it duplicated completely different charges and must prejudice the trial direction of. 

Trial expected in January

The Mounties began investigating workers on the legislature in 2018, and former speaker Darryl Plecas later produced a report that outlined allegations of misspending on the legislative meeting.

Plecas alleged James and Lenz engaged in inappropriate spending on personal items and international trips, including poke payouts and retirement allowances.

Beverley McLachlin, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, was as soon as appointed after the Plecas report was as soon as released to perceive into the allegations.

In her report, she stated James improperly claimed advantages and extinct legislature property for personal causes, but that Lenz did now not eradicate in misconduct.

A later report from a former senior Vancouver police officer came during Lenz submitted untruthful statements to McLachlin. 

Lenz, who resigned in 2019, had stated he denied the findings in the “strongest seemingly phrases.” James retired that identical twelve months, noting his family had been “ridiculed and vilified” by the controversy. 

The prosecution provider stated in July that James has elected a trial by think by myself, which is anticipated to begin in Vancouver in January. 

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Prosecutors decline further charges in B.C. Legislature spending scandal following final RCMP report