11/20/2018 16:16 EST | Updated 11/20/2018 16:17 EST

2 British Columbia Officials On Indefinite Leave Amid Criminal Investigation

Clerk Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz are involved in an ongoing RCMP probe.

Dirk Meissner/CP
B.C. legislature sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz is escorted out of the legislature by security in Victoria, B.C. on Nov. 20, 2018.

VICTORIA — Two key officials at British Columbia's legislature have been placed on indefinite leave over what an official says is a criminal investigation.

NDP House Leader Mike Farnworth introduced a motion at the end of question period on Tuesday that said both clerk Craig James and sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz were being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Alan Mullen, a special adviser to the Speaker of the legislature, says there is an active investigation by the RCMP and both men are on paid leave.

Mullen wouldn't release any details about the investigation.

"It is an ongoing and active criminal investigation,'' he told reporters. "It would be inappropriate at this time to say any more because we do not want to jeopardize any investigation the RCMP have ongoing. I'm not prepared to get into details.''

Mullen said a special prosecutor has been appointed to oversee the investigation.

James and Lenz walked out of the legislature separately and left the parking lot together in a vehicle driven by Lenz. James told reporters as he was walking out that he didn't know why he was placed on leave.

"I have no idea but I'm sure I'll find out in due course,'' James said.

The sergeant-at-arms is responsible for maintaining order in the legislative chamber and other areas used for the business of the house.

The clerk of the house gives non-partisan advice to the Speaker and can be consulted on procedural matters, as well maintaining a record of all the legislature's proceedings.

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