Thursday 12 December, 2019

Padarath calls on Smith to repay $150K to state

Princes Town MP Barry Padarath is calling on former Sports Minister Darryl Smith to repay the $150,000 allegedly paid to an ex-employee at the Ministry who accused him of sexual harassment.

Padarath issued a statement on Wednesday, questioning the Diego Martin Central MP on the truth behind the matter. He said he was "bewildered and somewhat amused" by Smith's change of tongue as he was quoted in the Trinidad Express saying he had evidence to clear his name.

However, Padarath noted that in a Newsday article published on March 25, Smith said, “I am unable to provide any comment with respect to this matter where I was clearly not a party”.

Padarath urged the former Minister to come clean on the subject as he raised concerns about the secrecy surrounding the case.

"... why did the Minister feel compelled to lie about his alleged role in this matter if he was not guilty?"

The MP also stated that any attempt to clear Smith through the committee set up by the Prime Minister to investigate this matter would be treated with resistance. 

He therefore advised the PNM MP to get a good lawyer as this investigation was going to be one “long hot summer”.

Meanwhile, Padarath chided head of the PNM Women’s League, Planning Minister Camille Robinson Regis after she issued a release on the incident. He told Robinson-Regis to stop playing politics and added that Regis, especially as a woman, should put decency and integrity ahead of politics.

"Carrie Ann Moreau should be treated as your sister during this time and not as a political football," he said.

Padarath said Robinson-Regis' statement that the matter is a “non-story” demonstrates how "shameless" and "callous" PNM treat with these serious matters in the interest of advancing their own political agenda as well as protecting their own members.


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