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Two key officials at BC legislature placed on leave amid criminal investigation

A pair of key officials at British Columbia’s legislature were placed on indefinite leave today.

Clerk Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz have been placed on administrative leave and were seen driving off the legislature property in a vehicle driven by Lenz today.

Mike Farnworth, NDP house leader, introduced a motion regarding the move at the end of today's question period.

Both men are now on paid leave while an RCMP criminal investigation is ongoing, according to Alan Mullen, special adviser to the Speaker of the Legislature

Mullen wouldn’t release any details about the investigation, but says a special prosecutor has been appointed to oversee it.

"It is an ongoing and active criminal investigation," he told reporters. "It would be inappropriate at this time to say any more because we do not want to jeopardize any investigation the RCMP have ongoing. I’m not prepared to get into details."

<who>Photo Credit: Government of B.C. Facebook

As the pair left the legislature, James told reporters he didn’t know why he was placed on leave.

“I have no idea,” he said, “but I’m sure I’ll find out in due course.”

James, the clerk of the house, gives non-partisan advice to the Speaker and can be consulted on procedural matters.

He also maintains a record of all the legislature’s proceeds.

Lenz, the sergeant-at-arms, is responsible for maintaining order in the legislative chamber and other areas used for the business of the house.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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