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Author Topic: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!  (Read 63514 times)

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Offline 1-868

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #390 on: January 28, 2015, 08:09:01 AM »
Where d fack is ANIL ROBERTS  ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
Phenomenal, lovely atmosphere.

Offline Deeks

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #391 on: January 28, 2015, 08:38:43 AM »
Where d fack is ANIL ROBERTS  ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

keeping an out of sight profile!!!

Offline lefty

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #392 on: January 28, 2015, 12:47:16 PM »
supposedly in england............we have ah extradition treaty with dem ???
I pity the fool....

Offline Sando

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #393 on: November 08, 2015, 05:21:14 AM »
Creed under investigation *
By Ria Taitt
Political Editor


PERMANENT Secretary Ashwin Creed is to be investigated.

The Auditor General has been formally requested to investigate Creed and his role as the accounting officer in the Ministry of Sport during the LifeSport debacle.

Sources told the Sunday Express that a formal request was made to Auditor General Majeed Ali to undertake an investigation into Creed, who was PS in the Ministry of Sport.


Offline Flex

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #394 on: April 02, 2016, 05:32:04 AM »
Darryl Smith: TTFA working feverishly to regain FIFA funding.
T&T Newsday Reports.


MINISTER of Sport Darryl Smith yesterday disclosed that local football officials are working to get FIFA to resume its funding of the TT Football Association (TTFA).

The Minister said he has been working closely with TTFA president David John-Williams on the question of ending the freeze on its annual subventions, which was imposed last year due to the lack of properly audited accounts by the local organisation.

Questioned yesterday at a Cabinet media briefing on the recent victory of the Trinidad and Tobago team, the Minister raised the issue of FIFA funding.

“We have one more point to get to go through to the final round (of World Cup qualifying) which, once you reach to that round, you get a certain level of funding from TV rights and so on from FIFA and CONCACAF,” Smith told reporters at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair. “So we know that one point is a very lucrative point for TTFA and for the programme moving forward.” Smith said once the TTFA regularises its accounts, it can get the ban lifted.

“We have been working very closely with the former president (Raymond Tim Kee) and now Mr Williams,” the Minister said. “He is doing a fantastic job. We talk almost every day.

And he is doing his best to get the accounts audited and sent to FIFA. Once those accounts are audited – he has told us – the ban, the freeze that FIFA has put on TTFA with regards to funding, will be lifted and again that will help the situation. So we are hoping that gets approved soon so that the boys and the team and all football could benefit from FIFA funding.” Under normal circumstances, FIFA provides subvention funding to the TTFA to the tune of US$250,000 or TT$1.6 million.

Of the team, the Minister added, “We are hoping that they continue with the success that they are getting.” On preparations for the Olympics, Smith said this remains a priority.

“From day one, the Cabinet has committed to the Olympic drive and the World Cup qualifying drive as our two top priorities,” the Minister said. “And so far we have been working very closely with both organisations, the TTFA and TTOC and the other organisations involved in the Olympics.

Just last week, I was able to give out $1.2 million in grant funding and the elite athletes as well which is two or four months earlier than they usually get. A couple of weeks before that as well we did the same. George Bovell and others got last week.” At yesterday’s briefing the Minister also announced that Sensei Barry Ishmael will be the chairman of a newly-constituted Boxing Board which will also include shot putter Cleopatra Borel and former Assistant Commissioner of Police Terry Young. The other members of the board include: Symon de Nobriga and Dr Rochelle Mohammed.

Ishmael, a 5th Dan black belt, has been studying for over 20 years and is an assistant to Professor Don Jacob at the Purple Dragon karate dojo. He is a foreign affairs officer by profession and a lawyer.

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: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #395 on: May 24, 2017, 04:35:12 AM »
Smith on weekend trip to Tobago: A storm in a teacup
By Gyasi Merrique (Guardian).


Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Darryl Smith, is describing questions surrounding his trip with a delegation of officials to Tobago last weekend as another storm in a teacup.

The issue arose yesterday after information leaked on social media revealed that a $92,000 bill had been racked up by a 12-member team of ministry and Sports Company of T&T officials for a stay at the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort.

The delegation, according to a blog, was on the island to attend the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Sports Awards on Saturday.

However, the blog, posted by Sharmain Baboolal, along with supporting documents, claimed only nine of the 12 officials were initially invited by the THA. Three more people, the minister’s personal assistant Cindy Cupid, communications officer Kate Balthazar and Melissa Assam, executive assistant to the permanent secretary in the ministry, were added after a special request.

The hotel bill for 12 rooms for a three-night stay accounted for $77,910.43.

A further $10,400 was for the rental of four cars while $3,600 represented their airfare, bringing the overall cost to $91,910.43.

Responding to fire storm of debate which raged about abusive spending by his ministry, especially in light of the recent debate which was also sparked by Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe’s telephone bill during a trip to the Bahamas, Smith said it was all above board.

“Usually, when the minister rolls, his personal assistant, who is Cindy Cupid, who wouldn’t be invited, attends with the minister and that is a normal thing.

“Every where I go I take one of my assistants with me. I followed protocol, left (Trinidad) the same day of the awards, went to the awards, met with Mr Jomo Pitt (THA Secretary of Sport) on Sunday and left the Monday and went straight to the office. I could account for me and my assistant.”

Smith added: “The other persons, you would have to talk with the PS. I think the two people’s names I’m seeing is the permanent secretary’s assistant, who wouldn’t be invited and also communications.”

However, he said it was clear some people were up to mischief by releasing the information online.

“But of course the media and people would try and twist it politicise it. These people, all of them work at the ministry. I met all these people there, they are not my friends or anything like that so I don’t know what they trying to twist and say. But they were all invited and my request was just for my assistant, which is a normal thing.”

Along with Smith and Barrow, the initially invited guests were Director of Sport Patrice Charles, Deputy Director Darron Charles, Ronson Hackshaw, senior legal officer Tyrone Marcus, Director of Youth Affairs Earland Kent, Youth Officer III Emmanuel Charles and adviser to the minster Garvin Warwick.

Smith justified the size of the contingent, saying: “They (THA) would have invited a number of people from the ministry and Sports Company and what happened is there were a number of other events there as well (in Tobago). There was a marathon that the Sports Company and some other officials went to.

“The Permanent Secretary and the rest of the team would have met and done a site visit at the Dwight Yorke Stadium. So it was not just the awards, it was a couple of meetings and different things. We did infrastructural meetings, we did youth meetings, we did sport meetings and we went to the awards.

“What we did was take the opportunity this weekend to meet with everyone instead of going back and forth. This is just a storm in a teacup which someone is trying to politicise.”

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Natasha Barrow, also confirmed to CNC3 last night that they had planned meetings with the THA beforehand and it was considered prudent to conduct them while they were on the island last weekend.

Addressing the issue of the cost of the trip meanwhile, Smith said it was normal for the ministry to foot its own bill although the officials made the trip on the invitation of the THA.

He reasoned that having used Caribbean Airlines and stayed at the Magdalena Grand, which are government-owned entities, it meant what ever was spent remained in Government coffers.

However, he distanced himself from the hotel arrangements made on his behalf.

“Nothing was requested by me. If I get invited to Tobago I notify the ministry and they make arrangements. I don’t know if its mandatory that the hotel itself issues a special room for ministers but there was no request from me.”

Contacted yesterday, several THA officials who were responsible for the organisation of the awards either declined to comment on questions over the details of the awards show or could not be reached via their cellphones.

However, the T&T Guardian understands that while the T&T delegation increased from nine to 12, several sports officers attached to the THA, who plan and execute sporting programmes in schools throughout the island, were disappointed at not being invited.

The THA Sports Awards ceremony was hosted on Saturday at the Magdalena Grand, where ten awards were handed out.

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

Offline maxg

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #396 on: May 24, 2017, 11:49:01 AM »
they could all stay by "The Lady In Red", plus nice home cooked Tobago meals.  btw doc, is Carmen still in operations ?

add: oh my, i see she now has a bad reputation. oh well, it is "Trinidad AND Tobago"
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 12:11:04 PM by maxg »

Offline Flex

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #397 on: May 25, 2017, 01:36:42 AM »
PM wants Smith to account for Trip
By Gyasi Merrique (Guardian).


Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has called on Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith to produce a full report into his recently concluded trip to Tobago with ministry and Sports Company of T&T (SporTT) officials.

The request was made by Rowley yesterday, mere hours after he had returned from an overseas vacation trip on Tuesday night.

The PM intervened following public outrage over reports that Smith was part of a 12-member delegation which spent $91,910.43 for a three-night stay at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort on the weekend.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday said: “The Prime Minister, Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, has requested a full report from the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, the Honourable Darryl Smith, on the recently concluded trip to Tobago by the Minister and officials from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Although Smith had called the matter a storm in a tea cup, it continued to dominate public debate yesterday, especially in light of the fact that Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe had only recently come under fire for racking up a near $60,000 phone bill during a trip to the Bahamas.

In a telephone interview on CNC3’s Morning Brew programme yesterday morning, Smith, again in defence of himself, said he had no knowledge of the arrangements made or the cost of the trip since he was not involved in its organisation. However, he admitted the figures were accurate.

“I was only made aware of the figures in the afternoon after work when I left the office. But in checking with the PS and so on, the figures are accurate,” he said.

The contingent travelled to Tobago to attend the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Sports Awards, which was held on Saturday at the Magdalena Grand. Nine of the officials, including Smith, were originally invited by the THA while three others, including Smith’s personal assistant Cindy Cupid, communications officer Kate Balthazar and Melissa Assam, the executive assistant to permanent secretary Natasha Barrow, were later added at Smith’s request.

Smith also responded to questions about his relationship with the three additional officials who were added to the trip, saying: “They talk about these three ladies being guests of honour, insinuating something. One of them is my personal assistant who, wherever I go on any given weekend, either my assistant or my advisor would attend with me.

“It’s not different for Tobago, so I would have requested for my assistant to go. The other two people that they are asking about, one is the permanent secretary’s assistant, which is a norm as well, and the PS and staff at the ministry would decide on communications and other people, which I don’t have any say on.”

Sources close to the matter told the T&T Guardian that Balthazar was yesterday transferred from the Sport Ministry to the office of the Prime Minister. She packed up her belongings late last evening and departed the ministry’s Elizabeth Street offices for good.

On the Morning Brew programme yesterday, Smith, a former chairman of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation, insisted his actions were transparent and all allegations against him were merely political mischief.

“Look at the history of me as a minister and even as a chairman. Everybody knows I’m a hard worker, I’m an honest guy and I try to stay on the ground. I’m not here playing victim, I am thick-skinned, I am strong and after this I am open to any scrutiny,” he said.

“As I said, I could stand up to this. I continue to get attacked because I continue to deliver and perform. I continue to work hard with my prime minister and my cabinet colleagues, I have their support.”

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said if she were in charge someone would have been fired.

“We are experiencing and we are seeing the worst level of waste, corruption and mismanagement in the country’s history. That is exactly what is taking place under this Government,” Persad-Bissessar said during a press conference at her Charles Street, Port-of-Spain office.

She said if she were the prime minister “some heads would have definitely rolled, someone would have been fired.”

Persad-Bissessar said the Rowley-led Government had collapsed “and therefore if we have to call for the PM to fire somebody, the PM must first stop the vacationing and must now vacate. He must now fire himself.”

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

Offline royal

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #398 on: May 25, 2017, 05:41:42 AM »
look bacchanal........ so again sports ain't first. What about de payment for de elite athletes Mr Smith? who given blood,sweat and tears for de red,black and white and not joy riding to Tobago.   

Offline Mad Scorpion a/k/a Big Bo$$

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #399 on: May 25, 2017, 08:27:00 AM »
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday said if she were in charge someone would have been fired.

“We are experiencing and we are seeing the worst level of waste, corruption and mismanagement in the country’s history. That is exactly what is taking place under this Government,” Persad-Bissessar said during a press conference at her Charles Street, Port-of-Spain office.

She said if she were the prime minister “some heads would have definitely rolled, someone would have been fired.”

Persad-Bissessar said the Rowley-led Government had collapsed “and therefore if we have to call for the PM to fire somebody, the PM must first stop the vacationing and must now vacate. He must now fire himself.”

Listen dis nexx nastiness nah. Anil squander aka teef millions and only because of tremendous public pressure she cut him, only to later take him back.  Bout heads woulda roll ::)

Offline Flex

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #400 on: January 01, 2018, 06:39:22 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 maxg

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #401 on: January 02, 2018, 01:43:59 PM »
Lol. But Lasana, why yuh in the man private affairs ? What that have to do with his job, Minister(Ministry) of Sport ? or ah missing something. Was the kissing up on Company time and purse ?  :D

Offline Flex

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #402 on: March 25, 2018, 01:58:54 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.

Offline lefty

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #403 on: March 25, 2018, 07:27:03 AM »
BigBellySelfieMoHawk was always ah questionable choice and is largely as useless as FitzG Hinds, Rowley need to balls up and put dem fellas aside before it too late if it not already
I pity the fool....

Offline royal

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #404 on: April 09, 2018, 09:09:57 AM »
 Smith gone..... Shamfa Cudjoe new minster of sports and youth affairs

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #405 on: April 09, 2018, 09:32:34 AM »
Smith gone..... Shamfa Cudjoe new minster of sports and youth affairs

Let me respectfully describe the shuffling of the deck as a circling of tata. Perhaps the only item that withstands scrutiny is Maxie Cuffie's reassignment. Steups, Mr. PM, steups.
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

Offline lefty

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #406 on: April 09, 2018, 11:13:25 AM »
Smith gone..... Shamfa Cudjoe new minster of sports and youth affairs
BUT NOT REALLY......d optics not good either, man is ah predator, let him sit out and rep he constituency until election or sumting....but puttin him some where to do more preddin come nah man
I pity the fool....

Offline Deeks

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #407 on: April 09, 2018, 05:08:56 PM »
What ministry position he has now?

Offline Flex

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #408 on: April 10, 2018, 05:16:39 AM »
Rowley takes on Housing, Darryl under his watch.
By Gail Alexander (Guardian).


It’s insulting to retain PNM’s Darryl Smith in Government by merely shifting him to the Housing Ministry.

That’s the view of Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar who said Prime Minister Keith Rowley should have fired Smith outright and demanded his resignation from PNM’s Diego Martin Central constituency.

“Outrageous and insulting to the people of this country - Prime Minister Keith Rowley should pick up his pack of jokers and go,” Persad- Bissessar stated.

Persad-Bissessar and other Opposition MPs yesterday panned Rowley’s latest Cabinet reshuffle (see box) in which Smith was removed from the Sports Ministry and appointed a minister in the Housing Ministry.

Smith also lost the Cabinet status he’s held since 2015 when he became Sport Minister.

Former Public Administration and Communication Minister Maxie Cuffie, still overseas for medical attention, was also demoted to a minister in the Public Administration and Communications Ministry.

Marlene McDonald, who was appointed Minister in Public Administration and Communication last month, is now the Minister there - and Cuffie’s boss.

Ministers Shamfa Cudjoe and Randall Mitchell were also shifted from Tourism and Housing respectively. Cudjoe replaces Smith in Sport. Mitchell replaces her in Housing and Rowley, in addition to his duties as Prime Minister, will now also be the Housing Minister.

Changes followed a day after last Sunday’s Express report on a witness statement from Smith’s personal assistant alleging sexual harassment. It’s alleged Smith’s unwanted advances to the former staffer resulting in a $150,000 settlement by the Ministry using taxpayers’ money.

The issue has been simmering since Opposition MP Barry Padarath raised questions on the details of the settlement. Attorney General Faris Al Rawi said it involved “improper termination” and the settlement involved a non-disclosure agreement. Padarath insisted Government give the rank of the Ministry official involved. He said statements from other Sports quarters alleged it was Smith.

Last Thursday, Rowley said he couldn’t comment on the issue since he was “now” trying to find out what occurred. The employee’s sexual harassment claim was subsequently revealed.

And following that, came Rowley’s reshuffle of the five Ministers —and changes with his own portfolio—yesterday. Rowley advised President Paula-Mae Weekes to make the changes.

Among changes, Rowley dropped the Public Administration and Communication Ministry which he’d held since Cuffie suffered a stroke last September.

Rowley has now taken on the Housing and Urban Development portfolio - returning to the Housing Ministry he’d headed under the Manning PNM administration over 2003- 2007.

As a result, Smith, demoted to a minister in Housing, is now working directly under Rowley’s supervision.

When Smith was criticised in 2017 for a $92,000 bill for a three-night Magdalena Resort stay Tobago, Rowley had defended him —and Cudjoe also under fire then for a $59,000 “roaming” phone bill - as being young and requiring guidance.

But Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar told reporters, “ In Smith’s case, the Prime Minister not only needs to fire Smith but demand his resignation from Diego Martin Central. Smith no longer has the moral authority to represent the mothers, sisters and daughters of Diego Martin Central. He should resign his seat. “

“The Prime Minister has ignored the call of all right-minded citizens...newspaper reports have shown that Ministry funds were used to settle a case in which the allegations of sexual harassment were made against Smith,”

She said Rowley would not have time to perform his Prime Ministerial duties and run a mega-ministry like Housing and Urban Development.”

HISTORY OF CHANGES

Prime Minister Keith Rowley has made changes to his team every year since assuming office - the most, involving PNM’s Marlene McDonald.

Yesterday’s latest changes involved reassigning:

• Darryl Smith as Minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development;
• Shamfa Cudjoe as Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs;
• Randall Mitchell as Minister of Tourism;
• Revoking the appointment of Maxie Cuffie as Minister of Public Administration and Communications and reassigning Cuffie as Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications;
• Appointing Marlene Mc Donald as Minister of Public Administration and Communications.
• Revoking the Prime Minister’s assignment as Minister with responsibility for Public Administration and Communications, and in addition to his present duties as Prime Minister, appointing himself as Minister of Housing and Urban Development.

Previous changes over 2016 and 2017 among Rowley’s team included removing McDonald from Housing in March 2016 following Integrity Commission and police probes on allegations including the Calabar Foundation. After being cleared on some allegations by the Commission she was appointed Public Utilities Minister in June 2016 and was promptly removed two days later after alleged gang leader Cedric “Burkie” Burke attended her swearing-in function at President’s House, without formal invitation.

At the start of last month McDonald was again appointed a minister in Public Administration and Communication. The Integrity Commission via March 7 letter indicated it had closed a probe concerning her. The Police probe is still on-going.

Other Ministerial changes over 2016-17 have included:

(a) Stuart Young from the Attorney General’s office to the OPM;
(b) Randall Mittchell from Public Administration to Housing.
(c) Franklin Khan from Rural Development and Local Government to Energy;
(d) Nicole Olivierre from the Energy Ministry, and later returning her as a Minister in that Ministry after Franklin Khan returned to work after heart surgery;
(e) Kazim Hosein in Rural Development and Local Government;
(f) Rohan Sinanan to Works and Transport;
(g) Allyson West as a Minister in the Ministry of Finance,
(h) Removing Senators Sarah Budu, Michael Coppin and others.
(i) Shifting Ancil Antoine from Public Utilties.
(j) Fitzgerald Hinds from Works to Public Utilities; more recently to Minister in the Attorney General’s Office

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #410 on: April 11, 2018, 01:38:39 AM »
PM sends Smith off field.
By Gail Alexander (Guardian).


Demoted one day, fired the next

From Minister to junior minister on Monday—then out of Government completely, by yesterday.

That’s the story of Darryl Smith after Prime Minister Keith Rowley yesterday received “new information” about the Sports Ministry settlement issue which shot Smith into headlines recently.

Rowley who removed Smith from the Sports Ministry on Monday after such headlines had demoted him to a minister in the Housing/Urban Development Ministry. But yesterday the Prime Minister revoked the Housing appointment—shunting Smith out of Government entirely.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s office at 2.56 pm yesterday announced the developments after Rowley met with Smith and Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, during which “new information came to the attention of the Prime Minister,” the statement added.

Rowley has appointed an all-female three member team to “thoroughly review the circumstances surrounding the dismissal and payment of compensation” to Smith’s former personal assistant Carrie Ann Moreau by the Sport Ministry—part of the issue which placed Smith in the spotlight.

The team, chaired by former Permanent Secretary and Human Resource expert Jackie Wilson, includes Folade Mutota of WINAD and attorney Elaine Greene. They’re expected to report to the Prime Minister in two weeks.

The PM’s office also stated: “It’s anticipated that all parties involved in any non-disclosure arrangement in this matter will lift such impediment to allow the fullest examination of the facts for the benefit of the public.”

The rapid-fire series of events up to yesterday followed last Sunday’s revelation of a witness statement by former Sports Ministry employee Moreau and alleged “unwanted attention” from Smith. The Ministry reportedly undertook a $150,000 settlement to her following a wrongful dismissal—improper procedure—claim.

Rowley’s subsequent shift of Smith from Sports to Housing on Monday immediately raised a firestorm of criticism concerning his decision to retain Smith in Government. The Opposition and other groups said Rowley should have fired Smith outright.

Contacted about yesterday’s meeting with the Prime Minister and Smith, Minister Robinson-Regis told T&T Guardian she had been asked by Rowley to probe the process used for settlement of Moreau’s claim.

She said based on her investigations, she had submitted the information she had gleaned, to the Prime Minister, and following that, he had acted on Monday.

“But then further information came to light and the Prime Minister has now acted in the way he did (revoking Smith’s appoinment),” she added.

Robinson- Regis declined to detail the new information—whether it was something she had further unearthed or if it was something Smith revealed, admitted to or confirmed during yesterday’s meeting.

Robinson-Regis said: “The Prime Minister had additional information and he made his decision (yesterday). She discounted claims that public outrage was the reason for firing of Smith.

She added: “When we govern, it’s not just for is. If the public doesn’t accept an action we have undertaken and the Government responds, then that’s what good governance is all about. But that’s not the basis on which the Prime Minister acted (today). New additional information came to light, was brought to the PM’s attention and he acted.”

Other sources were unable to confirm if the dismissal involved the fact that the Urban Development Company Ltd falls under the Housing Ministry to which Smith was shifted - and Moreau works at Udecott.

Officials of the latter confirmed she’s been there under a year.

Sources said despite the appointment of the team to examine the Sports Ministry issue, the Prime Minister’s decision on Smith is a “completed action.”

They said the removal of the non-disclosure agreement would be up to the parties involved - Sports Ministry and Moreau. She didn’t reply to calls on whether she’ll agree to have the agreement dropped.

PNM Women’s League applauds PM

PNM party officials acknowledged the retention of Darryl Smith in Housing on Monday had sparked a range of social media backlash and negative comments on call-in programmes.

While PNM’s Women’s League chairman Robinson-Regis, via statement applauded Rowley’s decision on Smith “for his careful, deliberate and timely handling of this very sensitive issue,” she said the League is simultaneously saddened at the turn of events and impact on the community.

“The League, by its very composition, is extremely cognisant of the impact of sexual harassment on victims, their families and even work colleagues. We are also very mindful as well of how mere allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace have been used in the past to destroy public officials, and equally, how public officials too have betrayed the trust reposed in them by many.”

Supporting introduction of a national policy on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, she said, the League will ensure such a draft policy is presented at PNM’s next General Council.

Chairman of PNM’s Diego Martin Central executive Lynette Ward initially said the executive supported their MP Smith but had no comment on Rowley’s decision. She then said “No comment on anything.”

Vice-chairman Gordon Paul said the executive is due to meet and expected the issue would be discussed. On his own personal view, Paul said the situation hasn’t been a good thing.

“I’m always willing to get all the facts before coming to a decision and all I knew was what I read last Sunday and didn’t know if it was all factual. Apparently, the Prime Minister got further information (yesterday) and made a decision.”

From Friday’s House of Representatives session, Smith - already on Government’s backbench - joins PNM’s D’Abadie/O’Meara MP Ancil Antoine as a former minister. Antoine was removed from Public Utilities last year.

And with yesterday’s revocation after a day, Smith has broken Marlene McDonald’s record for the shortest-lived Ministerial appointment when she was hired and fired between June 30 and July 2, 2017.

PUBLIC HAS RIGHT TO REASON—KAMLA

In response to the firing, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has called for the Prime Minister to disclose the information he acted on to the country.

“The Prime Minister’s action raises more questions than are answered. What’s the “new information” he received which changed his mind on Darryl Smith? What could be worse than what was already reported in the media? In the circumstances, such ‘new information’ cannot be withheld.”

“In the interest of transparency and accountability, we call on the Prime Minister to immediately to release this ‘new information’ - and explain why, in spite of the information appearing in the media, he failed to take action against Smith as he should have done immediately. “

She added, “The entire sordid business remains shrouded in mystery, yet another ‘Committee’ has been appointed to investigate. Investigate what, exactly, Dr Rowley? He cannot claim that he didn’t know (Monday) morning that an investigation was done, the parties agreed and monies were paid.”

Reliable sources yesterday distanced the Attorney General’s Ministry from the Sports Ministry settlement. They said because there was no admission of liability, it was not uncommon to have the non-disclosure aspect.

On Opposition accusations the AG’s Ministry “brokered” it, they said the matter concerned wrongful procedure, was against the Ministry and Chief Personnel Officer and was handled by Sports. They added the AG recently answered questions on it in Parliament since they had been posed to then Sports Minister Darryl Smith and he was absent.

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #411 on: April 09, 2019, 12:29:52 AM »
Rowley: Legal challenges delaying Smith report
By Gail Alexander (Guardian).


Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley says the re­port on the Sports Min­istry’s $150,000 set­tle­ment to a for­mer em­ploy­ee is the sub­ject of le­gal “chal­lenges.” On the ad­vice of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al and the pub­lic ser­vice, he said the mat­ter’s be­ing re­viewed and when it’s ap­pro­pri­ate to present the re­port it will be done. He added that he couldn’t give a time­frame for fi­nal­i­sa­tion.

Row­ley said he didn’t give Green­vale, La Hor­quet­ta res­i­dents an as­sur­ance when flood mit­i­ga­tion work would be­gin. He said he re­cent­ly toured the ad­vanced state of prepa­ra­tions to deal with im­proved hy­draulic man­age­ment around Green­vale and sim­i­lar work was be­ing done all over T&T.

On the lease of the St Clair prop­er­ty owned by At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi’s fam­i­ly for the CPO’s of­fice, Row­ley said steps were tak­en to de­ter­mine its val­ue and the of­fer­ing of the build­ing was de­ter­mined as suit­able by the rel­e­vant Gov­ern­ment de­part­ment and ap­pro­pri­ate ap­proval was done un­der the “nor­mal cir­cum­stances of Gov­ern­ment rental.”

“Ex­am­i­na­tion of this par­tic­u­lar arrange­ment will show there are ben­e­fits to the Gov­ern­ment,” Row­ley said, adding it was cheap­er to have done it that way.

Row­ley said he wasn’t aware that the pop­u­la­tion’s con­cerned about who owns the build­ing, but not­ed they’re con­cerned about what the Gov­ern­ment’s buy­ing and what the Gov­ern­ment gets val­ue for mon­ey for. He said the cri­te­ria for the arrange­ment was val­ue for mon­ey and suit­abil­i­ty of the struc­ture.

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #412 on: November 01, 2019, 01:38:10 AM »
Not true Dr Rowley
By Curtis Williams (Guardian).


Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley ap­pears not to have told the en­tire truth when he spoke at yes­ter­day’s post-Cab­i­net news con­fer­ence and claimed that he could not make the re­port in­to the con­duct of for­mer Sports and Youth Af­fairs min­is­ter Dar­ryl Smith avail­able to the pub­lic be­cause Smith was not giv­en a chance by the in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee to give his side of the sto­ry.

Row­ley told the news con­fer­ence: “It was con­firmed he was not spo­ken to by the com­pil­ers of the re­port but they came to con­clu­sions ad­verse to Mr Smith.”

How­ev­er, the T&T Guardian has con­firmed this is not true and that Smith was ques­tioned by the com­mit­tee on May 7, 2018, on the al­le­ga­tions made by for­mer min­istry em­ploy­ee Cher­rie-Ann More­au.

In a let­ter to Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary to the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter Mau­rice Suite, which the T&T Guardian has a copy of, Smith’s at­tor­ney, Annabelle Sook­lal, con­firmed that Smith met with the com­mit­tee on that date and of what tran­spired dur­ing the ses­sion, some of which dis­turbed the at­tor­ney, es­pe­cial­ly since she was of the view that one of the mem­bers of the com­mit­tee had spo­ken ill of her client pri­or to the meet­ing.

She wrote: “I will im­me­di­ate­ly point out that when my client at­tend­ed be­fore the Com­mit­tee on May 7, 2018, to be ques­tioned, I was present and en­quired of its Terms of Ref­er­ence, but at no point was any of this in­for­ma­tion pro­vid­ed.”

Sook­lal fur­ther wrote: “My client made a de­ci­sion to co-op­er­ate ful­ly with the Com­mit­tee de­spite the ill-ad­vised and dis­turb­ing com­ments made by Mem­ber Mu­to­ta in every pub­lic fo­rum made avail­able to her up­on be­ing ap­point­ed. He did so af­ter ex­press­ing his grave con­cern about fair­ness of the process and re­ceiv­ing the Com­mit­tee’s as­sur­ance that he would be treat­ed fair­ly.”

The ref­er­ence was to com­mit­tee mem­ber Fo­lade Mu­to­ta, a for­mer In­de­pen­dent Sen­a­tor.

In the post-Cab­i­net brief­ing yes­ter­day, the Prime Min­is­ter as­sert­ed that Smith was not giv­en an op­por­tu­ni­ty by the com­mit­tee to re­spond to its ad­verse find­ings and from Sook­lal’s let­ter, it ap­pears that the for­mer min­is­ter was not spo­ken to af­ter the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was com­plet­ed and be­fore the fi­nal re­port was com­piled and sent to the Prime Min­is­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to Sook­lal, on June 18, 2018, Smith was told by the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter that the com­mit­tee’s re­port would be made avail­able to him. How­ev­er, when arrange­ments were made to col­lect it from the OPM on June 19, Smith was told it was not yet ready since a cov­er­ing let­ter to ac­com­pa­ny the re­port was be­ing done. Weeks lat­er, up to Au­gust 14, no re­port was pro­vid­ed to Smith by the OPM.

In fact, Smith’s lawyers al­leged there was a fail­ure of the Prime Min­is­ter or his of­fice to pro­vide Smith with the find­ings. Rather, they pro­vid­ed ex­cerpts of the find­ings. This, Sook­lal as­sert­ed, was in fact a breach of the min­is­ter’s rights and this ac­tion of the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice was a ma­jor rea­son for her chal­leng­ing the very re­port.

In her let­ter Sook­lal said:

I there­fore iden­ti­fy the fol­low­ing fur­ther is­sues:

Breach 4: The re­fusal or fail­ure by you and by the Com­mit­tee to dis­close the re­port to my client in a time­ly man­ner and im­me­di­ate­ly up­on re­ceipt.

Breach 5: The omis­sion by you and by the Com­mit­tee to dis­close the re­port to my client a month and 15 days af­ter its de­liv­ery and con­tin­u­ing.

Breach 6: Your in­vi­ta­tion to him to com­ment on al­leged­ly ex­cerpt­ed por­tions of a fi­nal re­port, de­void of con­text and af­ter the Com­mit­tee has reached its con­clu­sions, de­priv­ing him of full ex­er­cise of his right to be heard.

It is the fail­ure of the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter to pro­vide Smith with the fi­nal find­ings that ap­pears to have earned to ire of his at­tor­ney and she wrote to the PS to the Prime Min­is­ter: “You have de­clined to dis­close the re­port for rea­sons best known to you, how­ev­er, you in­vite my client to com­ment on the (pos­si­bly) ex­cerpt­ed por­tions of the re­port for the rea­son that its re­lease will draw ad­verse crit­i­cism. You give no in­di­ca­tion as to what you pro­pose to do with his com­ments should he be so ill-ad­vised as to ac­cept your in­vi­ta­tion since the Com­mit­tee has al­ready ar­rived at con­clu­sions.”

More­au had al­leged sex­u­al ha­rass­ment as the rea­son for her dis­missal as Smith’s per­son­al as­sis­tant and the mat­ter was even­tu­al­ly set­tled with a non-dis­clo­sure clause at­tached to the set­tle­ment.

Smith was sub­se­quent­ly fired as min­is­ter of sports by Row­ley.

In an in­ter­view on I95FM ear­li­er this month, PM Row­ley was asked about why he had not yet made the re­port in­to the mat­ter pub­lic de­spite sev­er­al calls for him to do so from var­i­ous sec­tors of the so­ci­ety, among them Fix­in’ T&T. In re­sponse, Row­ley said he could not pub­licly re­veal the con­tents of the re­ports be­cause it “... came to a con­clu­sion neg­a­tive­ly about Mr Smith with­out talk­ing to him.” Row­ley said Smith’s lawyers had com­plained of the process in­volved and threat­ened to take ac­tion if the re­port were made pub­lic.

Yes­ter­day, Row­ley claimed he did all he could in the cir­cum­stances.

“But the im­por­tant thing what I had to do I have done and I did that ear­ly be­fore this re­port, which was to use the au­thor­i­ty I had, the au­thor­i­ty to ap­point Mr Smith, he was ap­point­ed and the same au­thor­i­ty he was dis­missed. I know of no oth­er sanc­tion I could ap­ply to Mr Smith as Prime Min­is­ter deal­ing with a min­is­ter, the ul­ti­mate sanc­tion had been ap­plied.”

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #413 on: November 04, 2019, 01:30:35 AM »
Darryl's attorney calls on AG to destroy report.
By Curtis Williams (Guardian).


For­mer sport and youth af­fairs min­is­ter Dar­ryl Smith is de­mand­ing that the Gov­ern­ment de­stroy all copies of the re­port in­to the pay­ment of $150,000 to his for­mer per­son­al as­sis­tant af­ter she was fired and al­leged sex­u­al ha­rass­ment.

In a let­ter sent to At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi on Fri­day, Smith’s At­tor­ney Annabelle Sook­lal al­so ac­cused Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley of giv­ing the me­dia mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion and try­ing to di­min­ish Smith’s claim of a breach of nat­ur­al jus­tice.

In a strong­ly-word­ed pre-ac­tion pro­to­col let­ter ob­tained by the Sun­day Guardian, Smith’s at­tor­ney al­leged that it was now ap­par­ent that all the me­dia hous­es in T&T had copies of let­ters be­tween her­self and the Of­fi­cer of the Prime Min­is­ter, with at least one me­dia house al­leg­ing to have a copy of the re­port.

In light of this and what Smith’s at­tor­ney deemed to be a fa­tal­ly flawed re­port that has the po­ten­tial to dam­age her client’s rep­u­ta­tion, she is de­mand­ing that the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al not on­ly de­stroy copies of the re­port but take le­gal steps to pre­vent its pub­li­ca­tion.

She wrote: “All me­dia hous­es ap­pear to be in pos­ses­sion of copies of some of the cor­re­spon­dence in this mat­ter and at least one dai­ly news­pa­per (the Trinidad Ex­press) has con­firmed that it is in pos­ses­sion of the above re­port. I re­mind you that in both of my de­mand let­ters dat­ed Au­gust 16, 2018, I sought your un­der­tak­ing that all phys­i­cal and elec­tron­ic copies of the re­port would be forth­with de­stroyed to avoid ex­act­ly this even­tu­al­i­ty.

"I re­mind you as well that from the in­cep­tion I de­mand­ed the re­trac­tion of this ir­re­triev­ably flawed re­port. De­spite re­peat­ed re­quests from me, it is now ap­par­ent that you failed and/or re­fused to take the nec­es­sary steps to se­cure the re­port such that it has now fall­en in­to the hands of the me­dia along with copies of the cor­re­spon­dence be­tween my of­fice and the of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter.”

Sook­lal said it was al­so ap­par­ent that al­though the AG had ad­vice since 2018 from Se­nior Coun­sel Dou­glas Mendes, he took "no or not suf­fi­cient steps to cause the re­trac­tion of the re­port, fu­elling pub­lic sus­pi­cion and dis­sat­is­fac­tion and draw­ing neg­a­tive com­ment much of which was di­rect­ed at my client."

This is not the first time that Smith’s lawyer called for the AG and the Gov­ern­ment to de­stroy the three-mem­ber com­mit­tee re­port.

In a let­ter dat­ed Au­gust 23, 2018, Sook­lal called for the de­struc­tion of the re­port. This pre­dates the le­gal ad­vice ob­tained from Mendes by the AG.

“In these cir­cum­stances, I call up­on you to have your clients take im­me­di­ate steps to re­trieve all copies of the re­port, both print and elec­tron­ic, and have the same de­stroyed,” Sook­lal wrote to the AG.

She fur­ther de­mand­ed to know who had copies of the re­port.

She wrote: “I al­so ex­pect to re­ceive from you by 12 noon to­mor­row Fri­day, Au­gust 24, 2018, a list of the names of per­sons to whom the re­port was dis­sem­i­nat­ed and your con­fir­ma­tion that all copies have been re­trieved and de­stroyed.”

Ac­cord­ing to sources, Smith’s team is now fo­cus­ing on how the re­port was leaked to the me­dia, since by the AG’s own ad­mis­sion very few peo­ple had ac­cess to it.

In fact, since 2018 Sook­lal was al­leg­ing that Smith had in­for­ma­tion that the re­port was be­ing leaked to the me­dia.

She wrote: “Not sur­pris­ing­ly my client has now re­ceived cred­i­ble in­for­ma­tion that the re­port or por­tions there­of have been pro­vid­ed to a cer­tain me­dia house which in­tends to pub­lish same. If there is mer­it in my client’s com­plaints about the pro­ce­dure fol­lowed by the com­mit­tee, then you would agree with me that the re­port which is the prod­uct of such a griev­ous­ly flawed process is like­ly un­re­li­able and un­sound. You would ap­pre­ci­ate as well that pub­li­ca­tion of such a re­port or any part there­of has the po­ten­tial to cause con­sid­er­able dam­age to my client’s stand­ing and rep­u­ta­tion, for which your clients could be li­able in dam­ages.”

On Fri­day, Sook­lal went fur­ther, call­ing on the AG to go to court to pre­vent the pub­li­ca­tion of the re­port, threat­en­ing le­gal ac­tion if it is not done.

“In the cir­cum­stances, I here­by call up­on you to forth­with take the nec­es­sary steps to ob­tain un­der­tak­ings or court or­ders to en­sure that the re­port is not pub­lished in the press. Should you fail to do so, I shall ad­vise my client of his right to pur­sue a claim in dam­ages for the harm he has suf­fered as a con­se­quence of these acts and omis­sions.”

Smith’s at­tor­ney al­so ac­cused the Prime Min­is­ter of "se­ri­ous in­ac­cu­ra­cy" when he sug­gest­ed that Smith knew about the con­tents of the re­port, which she rub­bished as be­ing un­true.

In her let­ter sent to the AG on Fri­day Sook­lal wrote: “I ad­dress sec­ond­ly the state­ment made by the Ho­n­ourable Prime Min­is­ter at the post Cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing yes­ter­day (Thurs­day). As you are well aware my client was nev­er pro­vid­ed with a copy of the above re­port, ei­ther by the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary or any­one else, as was re­peat­ed­ly sug­gest­ed at the me­dia brief­ing. In­deed my client is still un­aware of its con­tents, his on­ly knowl­edge com­ing from the bits pur­port­ed­ly ex­cerpt­ed by the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary. This is a se­ri­ous in­ac­cu­ra­cy which must be cor­rect­ed as a mat­ter of ur­gency as it is be­ing de­ployed to di­min­ish my client’s claim that there was a breach of nat­ur­al jus­tice.”

AG—I haven’t seen a let­ter yet

Con­tact­ed late Sat­ur­day, and asked if he had re­ceived the let­ter from Smith’s at­tor­ney, At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi claimed not to know.

In­di­cat­ing he was at a char­i­ty event when he was con­tact­ed around 7 pm, Al-Rawi said, “I couldn’t tell you. I get like a thou­sand bits of cor­re­spon­dence.

“I haven’t seen a let­ter yet. Per­haps she de­liv­ered it…it’s at the min­istry, but I couldn’t tell you.”

Pressed to say if he would quick­ly read the let­ter via What­sApp and of­fer a com­ment, the AG begged off as he said, “I’m in the mid­dle of a char­i­ty event serv­ing food, it would be kind of dif­fi­cult.”

No re­sponse from PM

Calls and texts to the PM's cell phone on Sat­ur­day went unan­swered.

BACK­GROUND

Smith was fired in April 2018 fol­low­ing claims lev­elled against him by his for­mer per­son­al as­sis­tant who ac­cused him of sex­u­al ha­rass­ment and un­fair dis­missal.

A com­mit­tee was ap­point­ed to re­view the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the woman’s dis­missal and pay­ment of $150,000 in com­pen­sa­tion.

Mean­while, at­tor­ney Michael Quam­i­na has de­nied ever ad­vis­ing Smith on any­thing to do with al­le­ga­tions of sex­u­al ha­rass­ment against the min­is­ter.

Quam­i­na has said that his on­ly in­ter­ac­tion with Smith was to take in­struc­tions from him in re­la­tion to the dis­missal of Car­rie-Ann More­au.

Quam­i­na in­sist­ed he was re­tained by the Min­istry of Sport and not Smith, to deal with the claim of wrong­ful dis­missal against the min­istry by More­au.

He dis­missed claims by the com­mit­tee set up to in­ves­ti­gate the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing More­au’s fir­ing and sub­se­quent pay­ment of $150,000 as a set­tle­ment, that he, Quam­i­na, was in­volved in the is­sue well be­fore it reached the stage of set­tle­ment.

Quam­i­na said the com­mit­tee’s find­in­gs of him were “en­tire­ly in­ac­cu­rate and with­out sub­stance” and he was not al­lowed to re­spond to the ad­verse find­in­gs be­fore they were con­clud­ed as is de­mand­ed by law.

He said his on­ly in­volve­ment was in deal­ing with two mat­ters—the first was whether the dis­missal was wrong in law and if so, what would be a rea­son­able set­tle­ment.

—Re­port­ing by An­na-Lisa Paul

The let­ter

2019 No­vem­ber 01

The Ho­n­ourable At­tor­ney Gen­er­al

Of Trinidad and To­ba­go

Min­istry of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al

And Le­gal Af­fairs

Gov­ern­ment Cam­pus Plaza

Cor­ner Lon­don and Rich­mond Streets

PORT OF SPAIN.

UR­GENT

Dear Sir,

Re: In­tend­ed Ju­di­cial Re­view Pro­ceed­ings in re­spect of the Re­port of the

Com­mit­tee com­pris­ing Ms Jacque­line Wil­son, Ms Fo­lade Mu­to­ta and

Ms Elaine Green (“the Com­mit­tee”)

I re­fer first­ly to the me­dia re­ports in re­la­tion to the above re­port over the past sev­er­al days.

All me­dia hous­es ap­pear to be in pos­ses­sion of copies of some of the cor­re­spon­dence in this mat­ter and at least one dai­ly news­pa­per (the Trinidad Ex­press) has con­firmed that it is in pos­ses­sion of the above re­port. I re­mind you that in both of my de­mand let­ters dat­ed Au­gust 16, 2018, I sought your un­der­tak­ing that all phys­i­cal and elec­tron­ic copies of the re­port would be forth­with de­stroyed to avoid ex­act­ly this even­tu­al­i­ty. I re­mind you as well that from the in­cep­tion I de­mand­ed the re­trac­tion of this ir­re­triev­ably flawed re­port.

De­spite re­peat­ed re­quests from me, it is now ap­par­ent that you failed and/or re­fused to take the nec­es­sary steps to se­cure the re­port such that it has now fall­en in­to the hands of the me­dia along with copies of the cor­re­spon­dence be­tween my of­fice and the of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter. It is al­so now ap­par­ent that al­though you were armed with the nec­es­sary le­gal ad­vice from Se­nior Coun­sel since 2018, you took no or no suf­fi­cient steps to cause the re­trac­tion of the re­port, fu­elling pub­lic sus­pi­cion and dis­sat­is­fac­tion and draw­ing neg­a­tive com­ment much of which was di­rect­ed at my client.

I here­by call up­on you to forth­with take the nec­es­sary steps to ob­tain un­der­tak­ings or Court Or­ders to en­sure that the re­port is not pub­lished in the press. Should you fail to do so I shall ad­vise my client of his right to pur­sue a claim in dam­ages for the harm he has suf­fered as a con­se­quence of these acts and omis­sions.

I ad­dress sec­ond­ly the state­ment made by the Ho­n­ourable Prime Min­is­ter at the post-cab­i­net me­dia brief­ing yes­ter­day. As you are well aware my client was nev­er pro­vid­ed with a copy of the above re­port, ei­ther by the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary or any­one else, as was re­peat­ed­ly sug­gest­ed at the me­dia brief­ing. In­deed my client is still un­aware of its con­tents, his on­ly knowl­edge com­ing from the bits pur­port­ed­ly ex­cerpt­ed by the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary.

This is a se­ri­ous in­ac­cu­ra­cy which must be cor­rect­ed as a mat­ter of ur­gency as it is be­ing de­ployed to di­min­ish my client’s claim that there was a breach of nat­ur­al jus­tice.

I ask that you give at­ten­tion to these mat­ters to­day as there is every in­di­ca­tion that the prej­u­dice to my client con­tin­ues to in­crease ex­po­nen­tial­ly with every mis­step in the han­dling of this mat­ter.

Yours faith­ful­ly,

Annabelle R Sook­lal

At­tor­ney at Law

Rosa Cham­bers

No 68 Ros­ali­no Street

Wood­brook

Trinidad and To­ba­go.

Tel : 1-868-621-5074

Email : annabelle.sook­lal@gmail.com

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

Offline Deeks

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #414 on: November 04, 2019, 02:50:03 AM »
Is Annabelle Sooklal related to Jerome Sooklal ?  Anybody ?

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #415 on: November 04, 2019, 05:42:46 AM »
WATCH: Coverage of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi's comments regarding matters grounded in former Minister of Sports and Youths Affairs, Darryl Smith's tenure in office

<a href="https://youtube.com/v/m9IRHEhoyWc" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtube.com/v/m9IRHEhoyWc</a>
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 05:46:52 AM by asylumseeker »
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Offline Flex

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Re: De Minister of Sport doing everything but Sports !!!!
« Reply #416 on: January 29, 2020, 07:23:17 AM »
SPoRTT writes off Life Sport $millions.
By Ryan Bachoo (Guardian).


The Sports Com­pa­ny of T&T has writ­ten off the $9.4m owed to it by the now de­funct Life Sport pro­gramme. This was re­vealed in a re­port in­to the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance by in­de­pen­dent au­di­tors Moore pub­lished in the press on Tues­day. The Life Sport debt goes back to the last gov­ern­ment, where it was found that the pro­gramme was rid­dled with cor­rup­tion and even­tu­al­ly shut down by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar in Ju­ly 2014.

Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia Sports yes­ter­day, Chair­man of the Sports Com­pa­ny Dou­glas Ca­ma­cho said, “That would have been a re­ceiv­able that would have been in the books for a num­ber of years and un­der the ac­count­ing rules it is not like­ly that the re­ceiv­ables will be col­lect­ed so we made the de­ci­sion to write it off in this fi­nan­cial state­ment.”

But the re­port went fur­ther in show­ing that the Sports Com­pa­ny had paid out over $13.4m in a court set­tle­ment and ex­pens­es dur­ing 2019. When asked to clar­i­fy this ex­pen­di­ture, Ca­ma­cho told Guardian Me­dia Sports, “There are num­ber of old mat­ters be­fore lit­i­ga­tion, dis­putes over amounts and quan­tum.” He went fur­ther in ex­plain­ing that a large chunk of that fig­ure went to one con­trac­tor who was su­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion for more than dou­ble than that of which was set­tled.

“The ma­jor part of that was a set­tle­ment for some work done where the con­trac­tor was claim­ing $25m and Sportt Com­pa­ny was say­ing that fig­ure was way too high and we were able to set­tle for a lot less so we were able to get a set­tle­ment and re­solve the mat­ter in a fair way,” Ca­ma­cho fur­ther stat­ed.

While that law­suit may have been set­tled, the re­port shows that the Sports Com­pa­ny owes cred­i­tors mil­lions of dol­lars. Its cur­rent as­sets to­tal $92m while non-cur­rent as­sets amount to $339m. Al­so, its cur­rent li­a­bil­i­ties to­talled $209m while its non-cur­rent li­a­bil­i­ties was shown to be $335m. Cur­rent li­a­bil­i­ties are those that need to be paid off with­in a three-year pe­ri­od while non-cur­rent are not dat­ed.

Ca­ma­cho said the Sports Com­pa­ny is at a dis­ad­van­tage be­cause it doesn’t gen­er­ate in­come. He stat­ed, “The strug­gle is that Sports Com­pa­ny, as a le­gal en­ti­ty, does not have the right to col­lect rev­enue on its own be­half. All of the funds that the Sports Com­pa­ny re­ceives are, in fact, grants from the gov­ern­ment of T&T so that al­though we may have Hase­ly Craw­ford Sta­di­um un­der our re­mit, when we rent it out for a con­cert and we col­lect rev­enue we don’t re­tain the mon­ey. We don’t have the right to re­tain. It all goes to the con­sol­i­dat­ed fund.”

Ca­ma­cho said his or­gan­i­sa­tion may have re­quest­ed the funds and are not yet in re­ceipt of it which would ex­plain the fig­ures.

RELATED NEWS

SPoRTT records $114m deficit, writes off $9m LifeSport balance.
By Jelani Beckles (Newsday).


STATE company SPoRTT recorded a $114 million deficit for 2019, $36 million more than 2018. Included in that total, published on Wednesday, was $60.7 million for infrastructure development, $40.5 million for equipment and storage rental, $11 million for salaries and staff benefits and $9 million to write off the LifeSport balance.

This effectively puts an end the $400 million LifeSport scandal, nearly five and half years after former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar ended the programme because of fraud, theft, and allegations that the programme, which was supposed to empower at-risk youths away from crime through sport, was linked to people involved in criminal activity.

In his report, chairman Douglas Camacho said, "SPoRTT has experienced a difficult and challenging period, but since being appointed chairman on July 4, 2018, the board has continued to focus on rebuilding discipline and good corporate governance to redefine how we operate and do business. We have met with each of the National Governing Bodies under our purview, ensuring that there is a clear understanding on requirements to be met so that requests for funding can be processed. Our present target for achievement has been made very clear – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."

In a brief interview with Newsday, Camacho added, "It (Life Sport debt) has been around a long time and the write off is because the probability of collecting on the debt is remote at best...that is written off, that is no longer a debt, that is gone."

SPoRTT received most of its money through a $127.9 million government grant, $11 million less than the subvention in 2018. Its other income was $375,362, for a total income of $128.2 million. Its total expenditure was $164.3 million and its deficit for the year was $36 million. The accumulated deficit brought forward from 2018 was $77.7 million, bringing its total deficit to $113.8 million.

Camacho said despite the debt the Government has been making a priority in assisting athletes as the games approach.

"Is two dimensions to look at there. One is the preparation and the process of qualification. The Government of T&T had indicated since 2018 the focus of this Government would be to assist national athletes and teams aspiring to get to the Olympic Games as a priority and to be honest, as a matter of fact, they have honoured that commitment for the last year and a half."

Funds don't come to SPoRTT, he noted. Instead, when a party, for example, Machel Monday, rents the Hasely Crawford Stadium, that money goes to the State's Consolidated Fund. "From that perspective, there is very little directly that we could do to advent that debt."

Camacho suggested a couple of options to help reduce the debt, including capital injections to help eliminate the debt.




Douglas Camacho - Chairman of SPoRTT

« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 06:31:45 AM by Flex »
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.