B.C. clerk of the legislature Craig James guilty of breach of trust

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia's former clerk of the legislature is guilty of fraud and breach of trust, but a judge has found him not guilty of all other similar charges related to a $258,000 retirement fund and the use of a wood splitter.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes, of the B.C. Supreme Court, says Craig James dishonestly described clothing he purchased as work attire when he knew it was not.

But because the trust and fraud charges were related to the same set of evidence, the judge entered a stay of on the fraud count, telling James no conviction for that would be entered.

Holmes says James breached the standard of conduct expected of a public official and his purpose was meant to benefit himself.

The judge says the dress shirts, ties and a suit purchased in August 2018 at a cost of about $1,800 were described as chamber attire in expenses, when James knew they were not.

James was suspended with pay in November 2018, along with then sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz, following allegations of misspending that prompted an RCMP escort out of the B.C. legislature.

Lenz was not charged and initially asked to be reinstated, but later said he would be retiring.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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