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 legislature scandal?

Special adviser to Speaker 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 that 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 this 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.

Mullen moved to Canada from Ireland in 1994 and soon after began working for the NDP, he told The News this 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 that 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

More rescues, less flames: Future of Abbotsford firefighting up for discussion

Mayor says talks with province needed, councillors suggest city may need more full-time firefighters

String of purse snatches at Mill Lake in Abbotsford

Two women were mugged in a three week period starting Sept. 30

Harrison outdoor skating rink to open this weekend

Public skating will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Mission principal saves goat, praised as hero by kindergarten students

“Today I get to be the hero in their eyes, changing the world one stuck goat at a time”

Abbotsford man’s murder trial set for January

David Albert Miller charged in death of 52-year-old woman in Kamloops

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Trudeau appears open to safer-opioid proposal in Vancouver: mayor

The city has applied for $6 million from Health Canada to allow for the safe distribution of diamorphine

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Most Read