Alan Mullen met B.C. legislature speaker while he was working as a correctional manager at Kent Institution in Agassiz. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Who is Alan Mullen? A new face in the developing B.C. Legislature scandal

Special adviser to Speaker Darryl Plecas has long past with Abbotsford politician

At the centre of a tumultuous week at the B.C. legislature is a name that won’t be familiar to many casual observers of provincial and Fraser Valley politics: Alan Mullen.

But Mullen has a long past with his boss, the Speaker of the Legislature – and Abbotsford South MLA – Darryl Plecas, who appointed Mullen his special adviser nearly a year ago. It wasn’t clear at the time, but Mullen now says one of his main tasks was investigating unnamed issues within the administration of the legislature.

Mullen made those remarks Wednesday. The following day, questions were raised about Plecas trying to get Mullen made the legislature’s new sergeant-at-arms.

So who, exactly, is Mullen?

The News spoke to him last spring for a story about constituency assistants.

RELATED: Life as a constituency assistant

RELATED: B.C. legislature scandal: Speaker tried to appoint friend as new sergeant-at-arms

Mullen may be new to the public, but he has been involved in provincial politics for more than two decades, working on campaigns for both major parties.

He moved to Canada from Ireland in 1994 and soon after began working for the NDP, he told The News in the spring. He said he did a “couple campaigns” for the party beginning in 1996, but described himself as “non-partisan” and said he had just felt an affinity for the party’s platform.

Mullen eventually got a job in corrections as an administrator at Kent Institution in Agassiz. It was there he first met Plecas, who moonlighted as a prison judge while teaching at the University of the Fraser Valley.

As correctional manager, Mullen functioned essentially as a prosecutor during prison court cases. He said he and Plecas would have been involved in thousands of cases together, during their respective tenures.

In 2013, when Plecas was asked to run for the BC Liberals, Mullen said he was asked if he would help out as an adviser on his campaign. He did so again in 2017.

“It didn’t really matter to me or him which party was in power,” he told The News. “It was all about doing the right thing.”

When Plecas became Speaker, Mullen said that “after a couple months it became pretty clear that, as the speaker, not only are you non-partisan and independent, but you need to know everything there is to know about legislative policy and points of order in the house. But also as the speaker, you’re in charge of everything that goes on in the legislature and in the grounds.

“He came to me and said, ‘Look, there is so much here, can you come on in the role of special adviser.

“My role as special adviser would be to advise on all things politics, both in the house and also in the constituency.”


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Grey, damp, warm week ahead in Okanagan, Shuswap, Columbia

Environment Canada calling for clouds and showers, and warm temperatures, throughout the area

‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society is waiting for a response from the province

Revelstoke roads and weather: avalanche control planned today

Highway 1 west of Revelstoke will be closed intermittently for avalanche control

Advance voting in 2019 federal election begins

Voting at advance polling stations has become a popular choice in Canada over the years

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read