Rowley fires sports minister in cabinet reshuffle

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley fired his Sports Minister, Darryl Smith — 24 hours after he reassigned him to another ministry as a junior minister over damning sexual harassment allegations.

Political observers say that Rowley bowed to public pressure to fire Smith over allegations that he made sexual advances to his personnel secretary Carrie-Ann Moreau whom he fired after she made a complaint against him.

In a witness statement Moreau said the minister made it difficult for her to do her job. The matter went before the Industrial Court, but before the issue could be ventilated, the ministry chose to settle the matter to avoid a potentially substantial payment.

The details of the settlement are the subject of a non-disclosure agreement.

The ministry offered to pay Moreau TT$150,000 to settle the matter.

Prime Minister Rowley said he did what he had to do when he fired Smith, one day after naming him junior minister in the Ministry of Housing — the portfolio which Rowley now holds in the Cabinet reshuffle.

Other changes in the government were: Shamfa Cudjoe, who has replaced Smith as minister of sport. She previously held the post of tourism minister; Housing Minister Randall Mitchell is now the new Minister of Tourism.

He previously held the portfolio as minister of housing.

Marlene Mc Donald, who was removed as Public Utilities Minister was brought back, as junior minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communication last month has now been elevated as Minister of Public Administration and Communication to replace Maxie Cuffie who is recuperating from a stroke in Washington DC.

Cuffie was demoted to a minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communication.