Did two B.C. public servants become too entitled to their entitlements?
British Columbia may have just had its David Dingwall moment: An up-close-and-personal look at what happens when bureaucrats say, “I’m entitled to my entitlements.”
It’s precisely that kind of attitude which seems to permeate the actions of two senior public servants in the B.C. Legislature: Clerk Craig James and Sergeant-At-Arms Gary Lenz.
Speaker of the House Darryl Plecas outlined several shocking allegations about James and Lenz in a bombshell 76-page report, released late Monday afternoon. It was a lengthy checklist of troubling expenses and payouts which, if true, calls into question exactly what kind of oversight and protection taxpayers have been getting from B.C.’s Auditor General, Comptroller General, Speakers, Legislative Assembly Management Committee members, and other officials.
- Expensive travel, complete with outrageous expensed souvenirs? Check.
- Weird benefits, without proper authorization? Check.
- Fancy appointments that result in new trips? Check.
- Retirement allowances for people who didn’t retire? Check.
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in vacation payouts? Check.
- Weird magazine subscriptions? Check.
- A wood-splitter and trailer that ends up at one of their houses? Check.
- Expensive scotch and wine winding up in private hands? Check.
- Questionable school expenses? Check.
Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. And all coming from our tax cheques.
Now, it must be said that these are just allegations, and James and Lenz have until Feb. 1st to respond to the legislative committee. But this is going to be tough to explain away.