Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok says he is receiving a lot of calls from constituents wanting to know what is going on in the ongoing situation of the Sgt. At Arms and Legislative Clerk being suspended last week.
And unfortunately, he says he isn’t able to tell them much — not because he can’t divulge information, but because he has no information.
The two legislative officers were suspended from their duties last week after a vote in the House.
Clovechok says yes, he, along with all other members of the Legislature, voted yes on the suspensions.
“We were informed in caucus of the motion that would be coming forward on putting them on leave,” he said. “It was a potential criminal investigation and two special prosecutors were being appointed.”
He says MLAs were instructed by Party leadership to approve the motion.
“I do have an independent voice,” he said. “I won’t vote for something I don’t believe in, but based on the information we had and the severity of the claims, the suggestion was to support it.”
The NDP and Green members were also informed by their party leadership the same way, he says. There had been a meeting prior to the vote between the three party leaders and the Speaker’s office, where they were informed of the special prosecutors and that a vote needed to take place.
“That’s the only information anyone had,” Clovechok said.
But he says he was blindsided by seeing how the two men were treated on television that evening.
“As it’s developed, I am absolutely disgusted by the way they were treated by the Speaker’s office. These are fine men, I don’t know them well, but they are professionals. Neither one of them yet has an understanding of what it’s about. Yet they were perp-walked out of the building at the behest of the Speaker’s office.
“It disgusts me the way it was handled.”
When he voted for the motion, he had no idea that was coming, Clovechok said.
“Does the Speaker’s office even have the authority to do this? I don’t know. Apparently the investigation has been going on for nine months without the knowledge of the House.”
Clovechok also questions why the Attorney General is being so tight-lipped about it.
“I know you can’t talk about an ongoing criminal investigation, but we are getting no information. It’s not about Greens, NDP or BC Liberals. All roads lead back to the Speaker’s office. Who know what he knows because nobody knows.
“But the public has a right to know. It’s the people’s House. It’s the most bizarre thing I have seen in my professional career.”