July 16, 2018, 12:31:24 AM

Author Topic: T&T Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith Thread  (Read 6376 times)

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Offline Flex

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Re: T&T Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith Thread
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2018, 06:36:32 AM »
Sport Minister files for divorce from the truth; threatens to throw wife out of home.
Wired868.com.


If chivalry really is dead, maybe the Police Service should consider bringing in Sport Minister Darryl Smith for questioning.

The Diego Martin Central MP set a new mark for family values today—and Mr Live Wire is thinking ‘skid mark’—when he took to Facebook to threaten to throw his wife of 12 years and mother of his four children out of the family home.

Smith’s public threat followed the leaking of a video which showed the super-sized sweetman getting frisky with former Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs PRO Kate Balthazar.

“Frisky” is relative, of course. Smith lay on his back on a couch—as though waiting for the tide to come back in—while Kate did all the legwork. Minus the kissing, it was probably a perfect metaphor for his time as Sport Minister so far.

Smith, who blamed his “ex wife” for the leaked video, claimed to be setting the record straight via the social media.

“The facts are as follows: I am the person in the video footage inside my own home,” stated Smith, who would have been spot on if he stopped right there. But he didn’t.

“It is imperative to note,” said the Sport Minister, “that my marriage was dissolved by Order of the Family Court more than seven (7) months ago…”

Only, it wasn’t. Smith began divorce proceedings in early 2017 but, Wired868 was reliably informed, is still married and will be for another two months at least.

The Sport Minister is separated but not divorced. But, like most politicians, he tried to have it both ways. So, without explicitly using the word “divorced” in his press statement, he referred to his partner as “ex-wife”.

Not that Smith trying to have it both ways would come as a surprise to anyone who has followed his exploits at the Sport Ministry.

The inconvenient truth that Smith also neglected to mention in his statement was that the romantic interlude with his former employee—she has since swapped ministries—was taking place in the house that he shares, at present, with his wife while she was out.

Presumably without irony, Smith also said “my entire focus continues to be on the emotional well-being of my children” and followed that up with “my attorneys have written to [my wife] again, advising her that an application for an exclusion order will be forthcoming.”

So Smith will petition the court to have his wife and four children—ages nine, eight, six and three—tossed out ahead of schedule on the alleged grounds that she embarrassed him by leaking footage of what he got up to in their home.

Too bad Justice Rolston Nelson can’t take that one.

Smith’s statement:

On Friday December 22nd 2017, specific video footage from my home security system was taken by my ex-wife and leaked via social media.

It is imperative to note that my marriage was dissolved by Order of the Family Court more than seven (7) months ago.

[…] My entire focus continues to be on the emotional well-being of my children but I have now been forced by this leak and the further embellishment of this story to clarify the facts.

The facts are as follows:

I am the person in the video footage inside my own home.

This was a family setting in which my father and other family members were present. The rest of video footage (deliberately not leaked) clearly portrays context.

It is uncanny that the footage was leaked on the very day that the financial aspect of my divorce was finalised.

It is very unfortunate and quite sad, (but not the first time) that my ex-wife has revealed personal information to try and destabilise the family unit in this manner. Given that, my attorneys have written to her again, advising her that an application for an exclusion order will be forthcoming.

Equally as shameful, but not surprisingly (sic), is that some of my political opponents on social media have chosen to use this to pontificate and preach about moral behaviour in public office for their own myopic and self-serving agendas.

I want to thank my family, friends, constituents and all of my well wishers for the numerous texts and calls of support.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: T&T Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith Thread
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2018, 01:57:30 AM »
Sport Minister’s secretary gets $150,000 after dismissal.
By Carla Bridglal (Guardian).


Sex suit settled

Taxpayers, through the Ministry of Sport, have paid $150,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by a former personal secretary to the minister, Darryl Smith.

Sources close to the ministry told Sunday Newsday the woman had alleged sexual impropriety against her by a high-ranking member of the ministry.

She was subsequently terminated. After challenging the ministry’s decision in the Industrial Court, she was awarded $150,000. Sunday Newsday understands she was also asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The minister is distancing himself from the matter. In a response to Sunday Newsday via What’s App, Smith said: “While (name called) was at one point in time my assistant, I was not a party to any trade dispute at the Industrial Court nor any settlement agreement. This would be easily confirmed by any official documents you may have in your possession. I, therefore, am unable to provide any comment with respect to matters where I was clearly not a party.”

In a document stamped January 26, 2017, the ministry said the total paid to the woman amounted to an estimated savings of $84,360.

The plaintiff, who was represented by the National Union of Government and Federated Workers, initially made a claim for $234,360 – the total sum of her initial 30-month contract, plus a $45,360 gratuity payment.

The plaintiff had started work in January 2016 and was terminated in April. She was paid “one month’s salary in lieu of notice” in May, documents show. Sunday Newsday was told she was terminated for non-performance, although she had never been given any prior notice of dissatisfaction by her employers.

On January 24, 2017, Judith Joseph, one of the attorneys at the Ministry of Sport, sought approval for a settlement order and non-disclosure agreement, hopefully concluding a trade dispute brought against the ministry by the former personal secretary to Smith.

The following day, the permanent secretary, Natasha Barrow, signed off on the request, and on January 26, cheque #553 in the amount of $150,000 was issued. It was collected by Joseph.

A non-disclosure agreement is a contract in which the parties involved agree not to disclose the information therein. It is confidential and protects any type of proprietary information or trade secrets.

Such agreements are also common in sexual harassment cases, especially in the private sector, said one attorney to whom Sunday Newsday spoke, usually to mask distorted power dynamics where high-ranking personalities may have tried to take advantage of subordinates.

In the public sector, because of transparency and accountability policies, they are generally unheard of, especially in cases to do with an employee’s termination.

Another attorney, Lyndon Leu of Leu, Khan-Leu and Company, who agreed to give his opinion on the record, said non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases in the private sector, and even in a state enterprise, aren’t unusual, especially if the information may be false, so as not to permanently tarnish reputations.

In a ministry, however, if public funds are used, this would be a matter of good governance, and something for the Auditor General to note. He added that it would not be wrong, per se, to use external counsel, but that would need to be authorised, likely by Cabinet, with the scope of the counsel outlined.

Leu also said it was rare to have non-disclosure agreements in the public sector because they usually relate to information that is not public in nature, but since the advent of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), there isn’t much in the public sector that isn’t considered public information.

Sunday Newsday requested all public documents pertaining to the case filed in the Industrial Court, but was informed via e-mail that after an investigation, “this particular matter… is exempt from under the FOIA.”

While $150,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to the ministry’s nearly $280 million budget, at the very least the transaction seems improper because it’s public funds and so should be more transparent.

Sunday Newsday was also told that the high-ranking official had consulted the ministry’s legal team on advice on how to settle the matter privately, but many refused to entertain the possibility because they were uncomfortable with the circumstances. Outside counsel was therefore sought. When the decision had been made to settle the matter, staff at the ministry refused on the grounds of personal integrity to follow through with the request to sign off on it. Sunday Newsday was reliably informed that former acting permanent secretary at the ministry Ian Ramdahin had also, during his time, raised questions about why an external lawyer was settling a matter for the ministry, but nothing came of the query.

When Barrow joined the ministry, she was the one who ultimately approved the payment.

Contacted by Sunday Newsday to clarify the situation, she said she could not remember the circumstances.

“I can’t recall everything that came across my desk at that time,” she said.

Barrow was also the permanent secretary who approved the Sport Ministry’s luxury three-day weekend jaunt at the Magdalena Grande hotel in Tobago last May, which cost taxpayers approximately $90,000. She was moved from the ministry after news of that event broke.

Joseph, the ministry’s legal officer, who prepared the note requesting the cheque, did not respond to calls for comment.

Sunday Newsday also contacted Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, as the highest legal officer in government, for clarification on non-disclosure policies involving state agencies and public funds, specifically the $150,000 payment barred from scrutiny because of the non-disclosure agreement.

Al-Rawi said this would require an understanding of the matter and the particulars, and said, “I am not familiar with the matter and therefore can’t speculate.”

On Friday during parliamentary questions, Opposition MP Barry Padarath asked if the Minister of Sport (in this case, acting minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly) could say whether a former personal secretary to the minister had brought industrial action for wrongful dismissal on the grounds of sexual harassment by a high-ranking official. His question was disallowed by Deputy Speaker Esmond Forde.


Natasha Barrow

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.