Rowley Fires Sports Minister


Day After He Was Demoted in a Cabinet Re-shuffle

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO — Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has fired former Sports Minister Darryl Smith, who, just the day before, was demoted to the position of Minister in the Ministry of Housing.

The following is a statement by the Office of the Prime Minister on the dismissal.
“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 followed 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.”

The move comes after the Sunday Express newspaper in an exclusive story exposed the Sport Minister’s 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.

Before Smith’s dismissal, a brief statement from the Office of the Prime Minister had noted that the Sports Minister had been re-assigned to the position of Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

The statement said Rowley will now take over the position of Minister of Housing and Urban Development replacing Randall Mitchell, who has been appointed the Minister of Toruism.
The statement also said that former tourism minister Shamfa Cudjoe has been appointed as the new Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs.

Marlene Mc Donald, who was recently returned to the government after being dismissed on two occasions since the People’s National Movement (PNM) came to power in 2015, has been named as the new Minister of Public Administration and Communications, according to the statement.

She had been serving as the Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications that Rowley had also assigned to himself following the illness to the substantive minister, Maxie Cuffie, who has been undergoing medical treatment in the United States for several months.

The statement Monday said that Cuffie’s appointment has since been revoked.