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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Revelstoke’s forestry museum launches podcasts and new website

One of their summer students is working remotely

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 6

Chautauqua, CPR strike and destructive fire

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Most Read