New sergeant-at-arms appointed in B.C.

·1 min read
B.C.'s new Sergeant-at-Arms, Ray Robitaille, previously served as deputy police chief in Calgary. (Monty Kruger/CBC - image credit)
B.C.'s new Sergeant-at-Arms, Ray Robitaille, previously served as deputy police chief in Calgary. (Monty Kruger/CBC - image credit)

A new sergeant-at-arms has been appointed in B.C., nearly three years after the last person to hold the position was caught up in a spending scandal that rocked the legislature.

Ray Robitaille, former deputy chief with the Calgary Police Service, was sworn in on Monday afternoon.

He retired from policing in 2019. According to his LinkedIn profile, he served as an infantry platoon commander with the Canadian military, and worked in several areas of policing including uncover, as a sniper with the tactical unit and as a critical incident commander.

Robitaille will succeed Greg Nelson, who has been the acting sergeant-at-arms since October 2019, when Gary Lenz resigned from the position.

Lenz and then-clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Craig James, were marched out of the building and suspended in November 2018 over allegations of misspending.

Mike McArthur/CBC
Mike McArthur/CBC

Former Speaker Darryl Plecas took on a lengthy investigation into the pair after voicing his suspicions of misspending in January 2018. His final report accused Lenz and James of spending taxpayer dollars on lavish vacations, inappropriate personal purchases and padded retirement benefits.

James was criminally charged with four counts of breach of trust by a public officer and two counts of fraud over $5,000, in December 2020. He pleaded not guilty to all but one count of breach of trust in July 2021.

Lenz won't face charges, but chose to resign from the position because of the "irreparable damage" the scandal did to his reputation.

The sergeant-at-arms is responsible for security-related matters in and around the legislature buildings in Victoria. They're also involved in ceremonial aspects of legislative meetings.

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