What Plecas said at legislature
Following are some excerpts from remarks Speaker Darryl Plecas made to the legislature’s management committee on Wednesday, Dec. 6:
Perhaps it’s now a time for me to make a brief statement about this because it’s garnered such public interest.
I want you to know that very early in my tenure as Speaker, very serious concerns were brought to me about certain activities that were taking place within the Legislative Assembly. When I learned of this information, I felt a great duty to safeguard the integrity of this institution and be very mindful about why we’re all here. That’s to make sure that public dollars are spent appropriately.
It was imperative for me to act on information that was before me.
Given the information is very serious, and the very sensitive nature of the information that was before me, which could potentially be criminal, I believe that I acted appropriately to ensure that the information I had been provided was reliable.
This is a matter that is now before police. As such, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on this matter any further. We’ve heard this reference numerous times to [Alan] Mullen being hired as an investigator. Nothing, nothing, nothing could be further from the truth — not even close. At the end of the day, if we’re referring to police activity, I’m sure the police will jump forward, and special prosecutors will jump forward, and tell you that he wasn’t investigating. They would probably also tell you that every single thing he did and I did, leading up to giving police the information, was done not well but perfectly. I have the authority to the extent that I’m responsible overall for security. I also have a duty to taxpayers to make sure, if I ever see something that I think is inappropriate in terms of spending … that I pursue that with due diligence.
I can tell every single taxpayer out there: “Take it to the bank. I will be doing that every time. I will be doing due diligence.”
Call it investigation. Call it what you will. I will be doing that for every taxpayer.
We are not going to bury anything. Under my watch, there will never, ever, be anything buried here — ever. I’m proposing that we have another meeting, and I will give you a long laundry list of my concerns.
I will be proposing that we have a full audit, a full forensic audit, on the Speaker’s office — that is, my office — one on the clerk’s office and one on the sergeant-atarms office. You will get every detail of how much I spent. You want full disclosure. The public deserves full disclosure. Boy, are they going to get it.
I am completely confident — completely confident — that those audits will show that we have a lot of work to do here. If the outcome of those audits did not outrage the public, did not outrage taxpayers, did not make them throw up, I will resign as Speaker, and Mr. Mullen will resign as well.
This has gone on far enough. I’ve been reduced to a cartoon character. The press has focused on nothing but this issue since this first happened, solely on this issue. This is completely unfair. It certainly isn’t fair to a legislative employee, like Mr. Mullen. You all know that you are completely off base.
Again, I’ll emphasize: if there is one single thing about those audits — anything — that says there’s anything other than lots of things wrong, I promise you, I will resign as Speaker. That ought to be enough for you to say that I think we’re onto something here, and it needs to be fixed. And it needs to be fixed through the Speaker’s office because it hasn’t been fixed for years. I don’t know what else to say. I’d also say that the faster this audit can happen, the better. I’m sure it’s the wish of you and your colleagues that I get out of here as quickly as possible, so I’m willing to say: “Let’s make this fast. Let’s get this audit triple time. If this can be done next week, let’s do it.”
This is also hurtful to this institution. We can’t be expected to run normal operations with these non-stop accusations of wrongdoing on behalf of the Speaker’s office, non-stop attacking of a legislative employee who’s simply doing his job. I would ask you and everyone else: is there any one, single thing that Mr. Mullen has done wrong? I know what’s going to happen at the end of this. People are going to be cheering for Mr. Mullen, and they’re going to say: “Whatever you do here at the Legislature, don’t get rid of Mr. Mullen.”
Speaker Darryl Plecas at a meeting of an all-party committee overseeing financial management at the legislature.