British Columbia

Chilliwack man charged with theft from MLA's constituency office

A prominent Chilliwack community leader has been charged with fraud and "breach of trust by a public-officer," in relation to allegations of theft from MLA John Martin's constituency office.

Desmond Michael Devnich faces 2 counts of fraud over $5,000 and 2 counts of breach of trust

Desmond Devnich, a former executive assistant to Chilliwack MLA John Martin, has been charged with fraud and breach of trust in relation to an alleged theft from Martin's office. (Desmond Devnich/Facebook)

A prominent Chilliwack community leader has been charged with fraud and "breach of trust by a public-officer," in relation to allegations of theft from MLA John Martin's constituency office.

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced the charges against Desmond Michael Devnich Thursday following an investigation by a special prosecutor who was appointed in January to provide legal advice to the RCMP.

Devnich, a former executive assistant to Martin, describes himself on his website as "a young passionate leader who works with businesses and numerous non-profit boards and committees."

'Profoundly disappointed'

In 2011, Devnich was named by the Chilliwack Progress as one of the community's "Top 40 Under Forty." He's also a former vice-president of the Chilliwack and District Agricultural Society.

According to his website, he is the ticket sales co-ordinator for the Chilliwack Chiefs Hockey Club.

Devnich faces two counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of breach of trust by a public officer. He could not be reached for comment.

The constituency page for Chilliwack MLA John Martin's website. Martin said a staffer recently admitted to stealing money from his office. (John Martin)

The charges relate to the alleged misappropriation of funds from Martin's constituency office in 2017.

At that time, Martin claimed that tens of thousands of dollars had been taken. He said that after confronting an employee in his office, the individual admitted to taking the money.

At the time, Martin said the individual was fired. He also said he was "profoundly disappointed with what has happened, because I believe we are profoundly responsible for handling taxpayer money."

Devnich is scheduled to make his first appearance in Chilliwack Provincial Court on Oct. 8.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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