Victoria/Chilliwack (with files from CP/FV Current) –The BC Prosecution Service(BCPS)announced in late September 2019 that Special Prosecutor Robin McFee QC approved charges involving allegations of theft of money from the constituency office of Chilliwack MLA John Martin.
Desmond Michael Devnich was charged with two counts of fraud over $5000 contrary to section 380(1) of the Criminal Code and 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.
Devnich made his first appearance on these charges on October 8, 2019 in Chilliwack Provincial Court. On October 6, 2020, Devnich pleaded guilty to two counts of breach of trust by a public officer.
Devnich’s sentencing is expected on Wednesday March 3, 2021.
FVN has learned that both Crown and Defense are asking for a conditional sentence which would mean no actual jail time, preferring house arrest. In the end, a two year conditional sentence and order to repay the money was handed down. Devnich is under house arrest but can go to university and look for employment.
On January 31, 2019 the BCPS announced that Robin McFee QC had been appointed Special Prosecutor to provide legal advice to the RCMP during the investigation of these allegations.
Mr. McFee was given a mandate to provide legal advice to the RCMP investigators as may be necessary, conduct any related charge assessment, and assume conduct of the prosecution if charges were approved.
The appointment of a Special Prosecutor is intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice.
Devnich is well-known in the community, and he has been connected with the Chilliwack Fair, Rotary Club, Chilliwack Downtown BIA and most recently the Chilliwack Chiefs.
Devnich was also a summer guest anchor with chillTV’s News of the Week.