Criminal legislature probe

UPDATE: 2 p.m.

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

The sergeant-at-arms is responsible for maintaining order in the chamber, while the clerk of the house gives non-partisan advice to the Speaker and maintains a record of all the legislature's proceedings.

– The Canadian Press

UPDATE: 11:55 a.m.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the suspension of the clerk of the house and sergeant-at-arms at the B.C. legislature is "the consequence of an outstanding investigation."

Craig James and Gary Lenz were placed on administrative leave with pay and benefits, effective immediately, Farnworth said in the house.

The two are no longer allowed to access legislative assembly network equipment, systems or services and must not be present in any legislative precinct building.

Farnworth declined to provide further details.

James told reporters he had no idea why they have been sanctioned and that he would be seeking legal counsel.

ORIGINAL: 11:44 a.m.

Two senior staff at the B.C. legislature have been suspended and escorted out of the building.

CTV reports a unanimous motion was passed in the house to suspend Clerk of the House Craig James and Sergeant-at-Arms Gary Lenz.

The two were escorted out Tuesday, after being placed on administrative leave.

An investigation is apparently underway, but the reason for it is not yet known.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island

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