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Friday 14 August, 2020

Watch: PM reveals why he fired Darryl Smith

Pictured: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks at a conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's. Photo via Facebook, the Office of the Prime Minister.

Pictured: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks at a conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's. Photo via Facebook, the Office of the Prime Minister.

The firing of Darryl Smith as a Government minister in 2018 had nothing to do with sexual harassment allegations but his actions in “interfering improperly in the public service”.

At a People’s National Movement (PNM) virtual meeting at the Barataria Community Centre on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley revealed the reason for Smith’s firing as a Minister.

Dr Rowley addressed the “scandals” under his tenure at the helm of the Government, saying there were just two. The first, he said, was the roaming charges racked up by then Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe; the other being Darryl Smith’s sacking.

The Prime Minister said he conducted an investigation of the matter which involved a $150,000 payout to a former employee at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and found that it had nothing to do with sexual harassment.

Dr Rowley laid out the events that led to the Minister’s eventual firing.

 

The Prime Minister explained that Smith was not satisfied with the performance of a former female staff member (Carrie Ann Moreau) and was pursuing steps to terminate her employment.

Smith instructed the Permanent Secretary to remove the cause of the termination of her employment in the dismissal letter, which is an industrial relations violation and left the Ministry open to litigation.

Smith was reassigned and dismissed as minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in the space of a day after information was unearthed regarding the dismissal and payment of compensation to Moreau.

A report was commissioned following his dismissal, which was later deemed “unusable”.

Smith remained MP for Diego Martin Central but will not be contesting his seat for the August 10 general election. The PNM selected Symon de Nobrega, Chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation as its candidate.

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