T&T PM fires minister

Darryl Smith

(Trinidad Express) A day after his demotion, Darryl Smith has been dismissed as a Government Minister.

His only job now is that of Member of Parliament for Diego Martin Central.

It is uncertain if Smith had enough time yesterday morning to move his things from his former Sports Ministry office over to the Housing Ministry when he had a new job, for a day.

The decision to fire Smith was disclosed in a press statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon.

The statement from the Office of the Prime Minister reads –

Today, (April 10, 2018) Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley advised Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in keeping with the provision of Section 3(9) of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, to revoke the appointment of Mr Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

This following a meeting between the Prime Minister, the Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis and Mr Smith during which new information came to the attention of the Prime Minister.

The meeting also resulted in the appointment of a committee to thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding the dismissal and payment of compensation to Ms Carrie-Ann Moreau at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

The committee is to be chaired by former Permanent Secretary and Human Resource Expert Ms Jackie Wilson, and includes Ms Folade Mutota of WINAD and Attorney-at-Law Ms Elaine Greene. The committee is expected to report in two weeks.

It is anticipated that all parties involved in any non-disclosure arrangement in this matter will lift such impediment so as to allow the fullest examination of the facts for the benefit of the public.

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced a series of reassignments, revocations and appointments that saw Smith stripped of his Sports Ministry portfolio.

He was reassigned as a Minister in the Housing Development Ministry which Rowley assumed Ministerial responsibility for, after the reassignment of former Housing Minister Randall Mitchell.

The decision to terminate Smith was made two days after the damning Sunday Express exclusive report that revealed that a $150,000 settlement for wrongful dismissal was rooted in a sexual harassment claim brought by Carrie-Ann Moreau against Smith himself.

Smith had taken the position that he was not a party to any dispute in the Industrial Court or any settlement agreement.

And Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis had called it a non-issue a week ago.

However, when Rowley was repeatedly asked by reporters about the allegations against Smith during a press conference last Thursday, he said he intended to find out more.

Rowley found out more at yesterday’s meeting.

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