In his report that triggered the retirement of Gary Lenz, former Vancouver Police deputy chief Doug LePard was unable to solve the mystery of the missing memory stick.
The Sept. 9 report under the Police Act slammed Lenz for an “egregious breach of public trust” because he lied about his failure to properly investigate ex-Clerk Craig James’s bulk removal of alcohol from the Legislature in April 2013.
The LePard investigation stemmed from a complaint filed by Plecas’s chief of staff, Alan Mullen, who also alleged a memory stick had been stolen from one of two safes in the suspended sergeant-at-arms’ office.
In his interview with Beverley McLachlin for her May-released report, Lenz told the retired Supreme Court chief justice that he took witness statements in 2018 about the 2013 incident. He had saved them to a memory stick instead of the Legislative computer network.
“When Justice McLachlin learned of these statements and requested copies, Lenz advised during his interview they could be found in his safe,” LePard wrote. “He did not advise that the statements were on a memory stick. Legislative staff searched for document-based statements but could not find them. Justice McLachlin’s counsel, Mr. Abraham, subsequently communicated with Lenz’s counsel requesting assistance from Lenz to find the statements. Lenz’s counsel then advised of several locations to look for the statements but did not indicate they were on a memory stick.”
Mullen had searched Lenz’s safe on April 3 for another item and took photographs that showed no memory stick was in the safe.
“In other words, the memory stick appeared to Mr. Mullen to have been removed from the safe sometime before Mr. Mullen searched it on April 3 and put back sometime before May 6, when it was located,” LePard wrote.
On May 6, Acting Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd coordinated a search of Lenz’s office. She accompanied Mullen, Witness 5, believed to be Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Randy Ennis, another member of the Legislative Assembly Protective Services, another unnamed person, and Witness 2 to Lenz’s office. They found 10 memory sticks strewn around Lenz’s desk — a majority in the top right drawer of Lenz’s desk. Ennis found one in a safe under the sword case.
LePard wrote that Lenz strongly denied all knowledge of the missing memory stick and obviously could not have physically been involved while suspended with no access to his office.
LePard interviewed Mullen on June 19 at Plecas’s office in Abbotsford.
“Mr. Mullen thought that the finding of the memory stick was highly suspicious, and he suspected Witness 5, since he had the only other key to the office, and he believed Witness 5 was also the only one who knew the code to the safe,” LePard wrote. “Mr. Mullen was also suspicious that [the Acting Clerk] must be involved, since she had arranged for the search.”
While Witness 5 was the only other person with a key to the office, the battery on the electronic safe door had burned out and no code was necessary to open it, LePard wrote.
“Witness 5 strongly denied he had any knowledge of how it could have been gone on April 3 but present on May 6. He offered to take a polygraph. He was present when Mr. Mullen searched Lenz’s safe on April 3 but couldn’t say there was not a memory stick in it because he wasn’t looking for one. He was extremely upset that the Speaker and Mr. Mullen had accused him of wrongdoing.”
LePard relied on the words of witnesses and did not appear to have visited Lenz’s office to physically examine the safe. Ultimately, he ruled there was no evidence to substantiate the allegation and no evidence that the lack of memory stick compromised McLachlin’s investigation.
Ennis retired at the May 30 end of the spring session. Greg Nelson, the deputy sergeant-at-arms, was formally promoted to an acting role by unanimous vote of the Legislature on Oct. 8, several hours before LePard’s report was released by the Legislative Assembly Management Committee.
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