PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, April 10, 2018 (CMC) – Less than 24 hours after he was demoted as a Cabinet minister, the newly-appointed Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Darryl Smith, has been fired.
A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, today, said that Smith’s dismissal followed a meeting with Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, Planning and Development Minister, Camille Robinson-Regis, and Smith, “during which new information came to the attention of the Prime Minister”.
On Monday, Prime Minister Rowley removed Smith as the Sports and Youth Minister, after the Sunday Express newspaper, in an exclusive story, exposed his alleged unwanted sexual advances on his personal secretary, Carrie-Ann Moreau, which she detailed in her witness statement, in support of her claim for wrongful dismissal at the Industrial Court.
It’s alleged Smith’s unwanted advances to the former staffer, resulted in a TT$150,000 settlement, by the Ministry, using taxpayers’ money.
The decision had been criticised by the main opposition, United National Congress (UNC) and political commentators, that regarded the demotion more as a promotion.
“In Smith’s case, the Prime Minister not only needs to fire Smith, but demand his resignation from Diego Martin Central. Smith no longer has the moral authority to represent the mothers, sisters and daughters of Diego Martin Central. He should resign his seat,” Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad Bissessar, said.
“The Prime Minister has ignored the call of all right-minded citizens…newspaper reports have shown that Ministry funds were used to settle a case, in which the allegations of sexual harassment were made against Smith,” she added.
The statement, today, noted that 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”.
It said that the committee is to be chaired by former senior public servant and human resource expert, Jackie Wilson, and would include attorney, 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,” the statement noted.