Craig James, former clerk of the British Columbia legislature, leaves B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 26, 2022. Former Speaker of the legislature, Bill Barisoff is testifying at the trial of James, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of breach of trust by a public officer in relation to allegations that he used his position for personal gain. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Craig James, former clerk of the British Columbia legislature, leaves B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 26, 2022. Former Speaker of the legislature, Bill Barisoff is testifying at the trial of James, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of breach of trust by a public officer in relation to allegations that he used his position for personal gain. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Former Speaker of B.C. legislature doesn’t recall retirement payout documents: trial

Bill Barisoff told Craig James trial that he only saw some documents after investigation began

A former Speaker of British Columbia’s legislature says he doesn’t remember seeing many of the documents outlining retirement and financial benefits linked to a breach-of-trust trial.

Bill Barisoff told the B.C. Supreme Court trial of the former clerk of the legislature Craig James that he only saw some documents connected with benefits after the RCMP began investigating James, and when letters and memos were sent to him by the Crown.

James has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of breach of trust by a public officer in relation to allegations that he used his position for personal gain.

The trial heard testimony earlier that James told the deputy clerk that based on legal advice Barisoff had determined that James was eligible for the $258,000 retirement benefit.

James was escorted from the legislature in 2018 amid a police investigation into allegations involving the retirement benefit, travel expense claims and the purchase of a wood splitter and trailer with public funds.

Barisoff says he was not involved in approving James’s travel expenses, which would have been handled by a committee though he does not recall its name.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Spending a ‘marked departure’ from former B.C. legislature clerk’s duties, Crown says

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