More than two years after Chilliwack MLA John Martin fired his constituency assistant for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars, the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) announced charges.
Special Prosecutor Robin McFee has approved charges of two counts of fraud over $5,000 to Desmond Michael Devnich. He is also charged with two counts of breach of trust by a public officer contrary to section 122 of the Criminal Code.
BREAKING: BC Prosecution Service announces charges approved against former constituency assistant to #Chilliwack MLA John Martin. Desmond Michael Devnich charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000. Story to come..— Paul J. Henderson (@PeeJayAitch) September 19, 2019
The charges cover the time period from June 25, 2013 to February 27, 2017.
The story first broke in March 2017 when Martin announced he had fired an employee after discovering tens of thousands of dollars missing from his constituency office bank account.
“I’m profoundly disappointed in what has happened as I believe we have an obligation to wisely manage taxpayer money,” Martin told the Progress via telephone from Victoria.
When asked by The Progress, Martin declined to comment since the matter is now before the courts.
It took nearly two years, but in January 2019, it was reported that McFee had been appointed and was undertaking the charge assessment process.
Devnich is well-known in the community having held positions including director of the Chilliwack & District Agricultural Society, the Rotary Club, and working with the Downtown BIA and most recently the Chilliwack Chiefs.
He was once included in a Chilliwack Progress supplement entitled Forty Under 40.
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Devnich was also asked to comment on the charges.
“Regretfully, I cannot comment at this time,” he responded. “I appreciate that you reached out to me and I hope that we can speak further following the court proceedings.”
Devnich is scheduled to make his first appearance on these charges on Oct. 8 in Chilliwack Provincial Court.
See www.theprogress.com for more on this story.