Desmond Devnich, former constituency assistant to Chilliwack MLA John Martin, is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of breach of trust. (LinkedIn)

Desmond Devnich, former constituency assistant to Chilliwack MLA John Martin, is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of breach of trust. (LinkedIn)

BREAKING: Chilliwack MLA’s former constituency assistant charged with fraud, breach of trust

Charges announced Sept. 19 more than two years after Martin fired Desmond Devnich for alleged thefts

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.

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.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack MLA John Martin’s constituency assistant fired after admitting to misappropriating money

• READ MORE: Charges under consideration for Chilliwack MLA’s former constituency assistant

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.

• READ MORE: Desmond Devnich: Smiles are free from Des

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.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.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

Sheriff Avory Chapman was last seen Jan. 20 on Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack. (RCMP)
RCMP look for missing man last seen in downtown Chilliwack

21-year-old Sheriff Avory Chapman has been missing since Jan. 20

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual interference in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Recently elected NDP MLA Kelli Paddon is funding three $500 scholarships for students demonstrating a commitment to equity and social change. (Black Press file photo)
Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon funding Equity and Social Change Scholarships

One of the scholarships is open to any graduating student in the Chilliwack-Kent electoral district

Richard Procee is one of four candidates in the Feb. 13, 2021 Chilliwack school board byelection. Here, he poses at his store in 2017. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
VIDEO: Byelection candidate Richard Procee hopes to ‘introduce good conversation’ to Chilliwack school board

Procee discusses his involvement with his church, views on SOGI 123 and politics

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read