VICTORIA – The British Columbia Criminal Justice Branch says charges have been approved against a former employee at the constituency office of a Victoria New Democratic member of the legislature.
Marnie Ruth Offman has been charged with fraud, theft over $5,000 and uttering forged cheques.
The Criminal Justice Branch said in a news release on Wednesday that the offences are alleged to have occurred between March 24, 2009 and Nov. 28, 2015, but no dollar figure was disclosed.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Victoria-Swan Lake New Democrat Rob Fleming said he made a complaint to police after learning of alleged financial irregularities in his constituency office.
“This has been a very disturbing matter for me because it involves someone I worked closely with. Constituency office employees have the trust of the MLA and the community they serve so it is gravely disappointing to have that trust violated” Fleming said.
He described the discovery as “shocking” and said he would reserve final judgement until the process concludes, but noted he is “relieved and satisfied” that charges are proceeding.
Victoria Police also issued a statement on Wednesday saying Flemming came to them May 18 after he discovered some financial inconsistencies in his office. Detectives believe that no one else was involved in the matter, the statement said.
Fleming has represented the Victoria-area riding since it was formed in 2009 and currently serves as opposition critic for education.
Special prosecutor Dirk Ryneveld was appointed June 8 to handle the case.
The Criminal Justice Branch said the announcement of his appointment was delayed to ensure privacy during the charge assessment process.
A spokesman for the Criminal Justice Branch said Offman was to appear in a Victoria courtroom Wednesday.
The allegations have not been proven in court.