Here are the most outlandish expenses from the Speaker’s “bombshell” report released today

Vancouver's Stupidest Politics Column

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Speaker Darryl Plecas arrives for the legislative assembly management committee meeting.
Photograph By TIMES COLONIST

By now you’ve probably read about the “bombshell” report that the B.C. Legislature’s Speaker, Darryl Plecas, released to the public today.

HERE is the piece we published about it, and HERE is the report itself should you have time to wade through all 76 pages.

Outlined in it are unproven allegations involving an almost impossible amount of questionable spending by two high-ranking employees of the Legislature: Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz and clerk of the house Craig James. Both have been feigning ignorance for the past couple of months as to why they were suspended from their duties, following being paraded out of their office in front of media.

The story outlined in Plecas’ report is surprisingly easy to follow. Even the idiot who writes Vancouver’s Stupidest Politics Column [waves] was able to understand a great deal of the allegations in it, and while part of that is due to them being dead obvious wastes of money, the report is written as if the public were meant to read it. It doesn’t seem to be intended only for auditors, CPAs and big-brained politicos, or the RCMP.

I’ve put together what I feel are the most egregious (and simple) examples of alleged “flagrant overspending” outlined in the report which, again, have not been proven and are almost too crazy to be true. There are many more which are complicated (like the alleged life insurance scheme), but these ones are keeping in the theme of this column; alleged stupid wastes of your tax dollars.

Below I’ve linked to individual posts in a Twitter thread I authored earlier which contains screen grabs from the report highlighting each of these points:

– Darryl Plecas was apparently supplied with a shit ton of booze when he started his job as the Speaker, and was told that if it wasn’t good enough he could get more expensive stuff. This isn’t an accusation he made of Lenz or James, but part of the storytelling he does to set up the wild spending allegations that follow in his report.

– Lenz, James and Plecas all went to the UK on a government trip. Plecas was taken to a fancy-ass hat store where they were to buy him that fancy-ass hat he wears. Lenz and James then allegedly bought a thousand dollar suit with a nudge-nudge-wink-wink it’s “part of the uniform” and expensed it to the government.

– On the same trip, Lenz allegedly bought some gifts for his wife with your money.

– You know when you go to Blaine and you’ve bought a twelver of PBR and when you get to the border you think about maybe not telling them you bought it so you can save a couple bucks on the duty? Plecas claims that James tried to convince him to do that on a government trip, allegedly saying “do as I do – don’t declare anything”.

– Someone smarter than I will eventually explain how this alleged double dipping of a retirement bonus of $275,000-$300,000 could have happened.

– The Premier of B.C. has a vault. When they were cleaning out Premier Christy Clark’s vault Plecas alleges that some expensive coins and a goddamned scroll of some sort were stolen from it. It’s starting to sound like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure 4 at this point.

– Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more weird, Plecas alleges that James and Lenz bought a $3,200 wood splitter and had it delivered to James’ home. He alleges that they both used it to chop their personal firewood. A WOOD SPLITTER.

– Allegedly another thousand dollar suit was written off, as part of a “uniform” that is not at all part of a uniform.

– Allegedly James has upwards of NINE IPHONES that you’ve paid for, and a bunch of accessories.

If a decent portion of the stuff in Plecas’ report is true it would be hard to believe the RCMP wouldn’t file charges against these two on taxpayers’ behalf. If any of the stuff is true it (sadly) will confirm what everyone knows, and will contribute to making us all more cynical; that some people who work for the government are lined up at the trough, slurping up existing perks like hogs and trying to invent more where they don’t yet exist, using your money as if it were theirs.

It really does make you wanna barf.

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