Ex-Speaker Linda Reid, the longest-serving BC Liberal MLA, refused to co-operate with Doug LePard’s Police Act investigation into the suspended sergeant-at-arms.
LePard’s Oct. 8-released report, that sparked the previous week’s retirement of Gary Lenz, said Reid declined, through her lawyer George Cadman, to be interviewed. LePard described an “interview via email” of Reid through Cadman.
LePard wrote July 22 to Reid, hoping to determine whether Lenz spoke to her about the 2013 liquor incident, corroborate Acting Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd’s statement that she discussed the incident with Reid, and to seek any other knowledge Reid had of the incident.
Reid, who was speaker from 2013 to 2017, directed LePard on July 27 to Cadman, who refused an in-person interview.
“Mr. Cadman declined to provide a response to my question of whether Ms. Reid had any knowledge of the 2013 liquor incident involving Mr. James,” LePard wrote. “He also declined to provide a response to my question about Ms. Reid’s recollection of speaking to Ms. Ryan-Lloyd about the incident. He advised that it was his opinion that these questions were not relevant to my investigation.”
LePard wrote that he explained the purpose of the questions, to the extent that he could while preserving the integrity of the investigation.
Cadman replied: “I appreciate your explanation below of relevance with respect to Questions 3, 4 [regarding her knowledge of the incident, and whether she recalled Ms. Ryan-Lloyd speaking to her about it]. That said, I disagree with her need to answer the same, there will be no response to those questions.”
LePard asked whether Lenz spoke to Reid about the liquor incident? Cadman answered no. Did Reid have any documents, information or knowledge relevant to LePard’s investigation? Cadman answered no.
In 2013, Reid knowingly and willingly claimed for her husband’s business class airfare, meals and hotel when she attended a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in South Africa. In March 2014, when Reid was exposed, she said she reimbursed the public treasury for $5,528.16 for the airfare and would eventually repay the rest of her husband’s costs.
Beginning in 2014, this reporter persistently sought proof from Reid. She has never acknowledged phone or email messages, much less shown any proof of repayment.
The year 2014 was also when $79,000 of renovations to Reid’s riding office in Garden City Mall caught the eye of RCMP officials. A brown bench was bolted to concrete by the curb and surveillance cameras installed, without any recommendation from police. Reid also renovated the kitchen and bathroom, but no charges were laid. Landlord Farrell Estates donated $24,240 to the BC Liberals between 2005 and 2017.
Speaker Darryl Plecas’s scathing January report revealed how BC Liberal aide Connor Gibson was fired for questioning Reid’s expenses. In February, Reid was replaced as assistant deputy speaker by fellow BC Liberal Joan Isaacs.
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