Top legislature officials Craig James and Gary Lenz placed on administrative leave in wake of criminal investigation

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      There's been a surprising development at the provincial legislature.

      The clerk of the legislative assembly, Craig Jones, and the sergeant-at-arms, Gary Lenz, have been placed on administrative leave, according to a resolution introduced by Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

      "During the period of administrative leave, and as a consequence of an outstanding investigation, Mr. James and Mr. Lenz must not access Legislative Assembly network equipment, systems or services and must not be present within any building that is part of the 'Legislative Precinct' as defined in section 1 of the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 258," Farnworth said.

      His motion was approved, according to Hansard.

      James and Lenz were reportedly escorted out of the legislature by Victoria police officers.

      No details have been released regarding the nature of the investigation, apart from the fact that it's criminal and not political.

      The clerk, James, is the chief permanent officer of the legislature. He offers nonpartisan procedural advice to the speaker and members of the house. He also oversees management and administrative services.

      As sergant-at-arms, Lenz is responsible for security of the Parliament Buildings and legislative grounds in Victoria.

      Times-Colonist columnist Les Leyne has reported that a special prosecutor has been appointed, according to the speaker, Darryl Plecas.