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

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

CHECK THIS OUT: Libraries as safe spaces for the homeless

Anne DeGrace writes about an upcoming movie and talk focused on libraries and homelessness

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

PLACE NAMES: Kaslo and Sandon neighbourhoods

Narrow valley saw Sandon’s main street over a creek

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read