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Smith discussed suppression of ‘sexual harassment’ in controversial settlement; Dumas slams AG’s defence of NDO

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith could face scrutiny over his role in what was effectively a sexual harassment case at his ministry. Documents, audio recordings and witness accounts provided to Wired868 point to a clear pattern of inappropriate behaviour by the Diego Martin Central MP.

Smith, ably supported by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, has danced around the issue of a TT$150,000 settlement with former employee Carrie-Ann Moreau for the past week. Moreau was Smith’s personal assistant but left after just six months on the job.

Photo: Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith.

However, despite Smith’s efforts to distance himself from the case, Wired868 has documentation that not only suggests his proximity to the affair but also appeared to confirm that the trade dispute involved sexual misconduct.

On Thursday 26 January, 2017, just one day before the relevant parties were due to meet in the Industrial Court, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs agreed a deal with Moreau, who was paid off with taxpayers’ money by Permanent Secretary Natasha Barrow.

Barrow was first to share the news with the Minister.

Barrow: “Matter with Carrie-Ann Moreau resolved. Settlement in the Amt of 150,000 agreed and cheque collected.”

Smith: “[Thanks emoticon]. confidential signed?”

Barrow: “Yes it’s [sic] was part of the settlement agreement that we both signed.”

Smith: “[Thumbs up emoticon]. and no mention of sexual harassment”

Barrow: “No.”

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (left) and his then Permanent Secretary Natasha Barrow.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

Last weekend, Smith feigned ignorance of the affair when Newsday asked him for a comment.

“While Ms Moreau 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,” said Smith. “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.”

Smith, almost certainly, was referring to the fact that the case was brought against Moreau’s employers, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO).

Young and Al-Rawi kept the same line and length when Opposition MPs questioned them in Parliament today, as they repeatedly pointed out that the Ministry and CPO were the targets of Moreau’s claim.

At one point, Princes Town MP Barry Padarath asked what should have been a straightforward question: “Can the Honourable Attorney General indicate that the substantive Minister of Sport is in no way named in this matter?”

The Attorney General’s response was, not to put too fine a point on it, vague and long-winded and it contained curious logic.

Photo: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.

“Having explained to my learned friend what a release and discharge is, it is imperative to perhaps go a bit further,” Al-Rawi replied. “ A release and discharge which is accepted in the circumstances in which it is accepted, under the supervision of the court. Where there is no admission of liability, where the matter is brought against the Chief Personnel Officer concerning a procedure of termination being the subject of the release and discharge and confidentiality.

“We can go no further than that. Any attempt to scandalise the matter by introducing terminology of the type by which my learned friend seeks to do now is nothing more than scandal.”

Padarath was ‘scandalising’ the issue by asking whether the Sport Minister was named in a trade dispute involving his personal assistant?

Wired868 asked Al-Rawi follow-up questions: “Can you tell me if Moreau’s claim contained any allegations of sexual harassment and/or inappropriate conduct by Sport Minister Darryl Smith towards her? And could you tell me on whose advice was it that Moreau was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement?”

Al-Rawi did not play a shot.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) poses with his then communications officer Kate Balthazar.

“Regrettably, I can’t assist further for the very reasons put on the Parliament floor today,” said the Attorney General.

“Could you at least tell me what is the reason that you are [also choosing] not to disclose information on this matter?” asked Wired868.

“Regrettably, I can’t,” said Al-Rawi, “for the same reasons detailed on the Parliament floor between Min Young and me over the several questions.”

Al-Rawi and Young both defended the Government’s decision to insert a non-disclosure agreement into its settlement with Moreau.

“Any lawyer who has practised in the area of litigation would know that when you are settling a matter,” Young told Parliament, “there are two documents that you always try to have executed: a release and discharge and a non-disclosure agreement.”

“There is,” said Al-Rawi, “absolutely nothing that is untoward [about a non-disclosure agreement] in those circumstances.”

However, Reginald Dumas, the former Head of the Public Service, scoffed at the suggestion that non-disclosure agreements were standard in government settlements.

Photo: Former head of the Public Service and Ambassador to Washington, Reginald Dumas.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

“It is not normal at all,” Dumas told Wired868. “In fact, I have never heard of it. And I checked with a couple of retired senior public servants to find out if, in their experiences, they had ever heard of it. And they all said they had not.

“[…] I am not saying it is illegal I am just saying I have never heard of this before.”

Legal or not, though, Dumas insisted that it was unethical for the Government to withhold information as to how and why its money was being spent. And, worse, he said the possibility that citizens—already facing austere economic times—were footing the bill for the sexual misconduct of Government officials is morally reprehensible.

“If this person brought an action because of the behaviour of a high-ranking government member,” said Dumas, “why should the government have to pay for that? Why should the taxpayer of Trinidad and Tobago have to pay for that?

“I would be concerned if that became normal; in fact, I am concerned now. Once this starts it will continue.

“You are saying the country is out of money and you’re against sexual harassment and so on and you have senior people [allegedly] sexually harassing workers and taxpayers are paying to settle the matter? That cannot be right.”

Dumas, who successfully challenged the Police Service Commission (PSC) last year for clarification over two picks by former president Anthony Carmona, said he sees trouble ahead if Government continues to treat taxpayers in this way.

Photo: Prime Minister Keith Rowley (centre) greets SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine (left) while Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) looks on during the opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba on 12 May, 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“When you have a non-disclosure agreement to hide something that is wrong, all you do is intensify the problem,” said Dumas. “You do the wrong thing by having the taxpayer pay and then you say the taxpayer shouldn’t know—and at a time when you are talking about transparency?

“If that becomes standard practice, we are in trouble.”

 

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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205 comments

  1. I would really like to know if she get paid already.i have judgments one more than three years old ,this govt hasn’t yet paid

  2. He’s a shithole and should be fired but then again it’s the KR administration.

  3. Wasn’t there a UNC prime minister elected while there were sexual assault changes in the court.

  4. KARMA WILL PICK UP WITH ALL OF THEM ONLY TIME WILL TELL

  5. My understanding tell meh ah could be wrong, ain’t this matter was dealt with in the industrial court, so this mean that is was a labour issue, so what ah kinda understanding is that the dismissal was not to procedure and the court dealt with that aspect and that is what the settlement was for the wrongful dismissal, tell me am I wrong?

  6. Lasana Liburd, Miss cash deposit say allyuh have an agenda, why yuh so eh? It’s a non-story according to her http://newsday.co.tt/2018/04/03/its-a-non-story/

  7. Yeah Lasana talk bout Jawala?or when Brian my friend held d tea party with d lady and d Guardian took pixs

  8. I’m sure “Claire Munroe” would be all in favor of ventilating this issue in public, and shaming the devil, so to speak.

  9. Nigel S. Scott in this instance the NDA protects – or more appropriately, shields – the identity of the person with whom the aggrieved employee had issues. Hides that person in a barrel, so to speak.
    ??????

  10. “On this last score, it is hard to accept that the request for non-disclosure would come from an employee who was willing to have her case heard by the Industrial Court.”

    A point I made, albeit in a related yet different context.

  11. Open your eyes. Paying to cover up wrongdoing with taxpayer’s money is taking food from children mouths, and starving their future. Barrow should pay from her own purse

  12. Signed and filed! Can’t violate the law (now)

  13. So this thing is getting ‘mainstream’ traction from the ‘respectable daily press’.

    Damn, Darryl! Groping around with the wandering hands!

  14. do you have the recordings of this event

    this must not be allowed to go without the proper action including the calling on the PM to give his knowledge of this issue being the BOSS

  15. In two more years …people..do like those..in bago..dont protest…juz talk.about de shit..but wait..in there last year…we will see Dr Eric’s.. style …of ..rubbing it in yur face….money ..like ..water..projects for de boys & girls….yes ..he said it ..THE PEOPLE..OF ..TRINIDAD..& …TOBAGO.. ARE —– STUPID.
    AND…yes they will…beat us in the west….& they..will beat us in the south..& North..to..ask yur self why…?

  16. PEOPLE in the under world & prison , the one crime that’s unforgivable is sexual. misconduct / harassmen / rape. Yet it’s permissible in our parliament what ah shame.

  17. My main question to him, the PS and the PM is “Why was a payment of $150,000 made to an employee who accused him of sexual harassment?”

  18. Who is the high ranking official? A former youth footballer? A Cabinet Minister? A former Local Government official?

  19. PNM again, what you expect …………………………..

  20. Smith just resign please. God enough is enough.

  21. As per usual, all of these negative comments are coming from people who have not read the story, and who clearly don’t fully understand the Law in this case and in this country. And to crown it all, paying attention to Senile Reginald DUMBASS. A DUMBASS who should be put out to pasture, along with the other retired Snr Public Servants he’s quoting. DumbASS, is admitting that the industrial court ruling “might not be illegal, but he has never heard of it “. This goes to show how long ago he worked in the Public Service.
    This is an Industrial Court legitimate agreement between the employee, the CPO, and the Ministry of Sport. A release and discharge and non-disclosure AGREEMENT concerning a procedure of termination. It seems like people have to read and spell fuh some ah allyuh. Go and ask allyuh two 2×4 Senior Cuntsel tuh explain fuh allyuh. The minister was not even a party in the matter. All ah allyuh like DoomASS,only full ah shit.

  22. How come these ministers doing what ever they won’t and get away with it like the working in the lagoon o what

  23. This PS should be surcharged to the full extent of this payment PLUS the Tobago junket and be removed from her position.Incompetent and irresponsible!!

  24. Well u know how we are full of double standards and games

  25. Silly question
    Was the minister sued or the ministry?
    If the latter then the worker should explain why the ministry and not the minister was sued and in essence put the burden on the taxpayers to pay any settlement if reached

    • Had to be the ministry was sued. And it would be for wrongful termination not the sexual harrassment. She would have told HR but rather than support her they let her go. So our monies was what jump up

    • Tricia Roy . The matter was a wrongful dismissal and had nothing to do with sexual harassment. In any case in the industrial court, according to the Industrial Relations Act, a dispute is between an employer and a union. As such any settlement or judgement in favour of the union, payment for damages is awarded to the worker involved to be paid by the employer. There are several current and past judgements against government departments and government agencies where damages are to be paid with tax payers money. It’s not the first and certainly would not be the last. Someone has a hidden agenda so don’t let ourselves be chained up. If the matter is settled between parties and not by virtue of a hearing, then their is no evidence of sexual harassment. This case is clearly between employer and union and has no evidence that the Minister, who incidentally has no power of dismissal, dismissed the employee. Attempting to sully the reputation/name of either the Minister or the employee is unfortunate and incorrect in the absence of facts or evidence. So far all I’m reading is “fishing” and speculation.

      Any FOIA search or the library of the Industrial Court will show how many instances of tax payers money has been utilized to pay damages from judgements in the Industrial Court.Hope this was useful.

  26. If someone won their claim of sexual harassment then who the guilty offender?

  27. But where’s d UNC in all this. Real fodder and Kamla like ah DUMMY.

  28. Taxpayers money and stay quiet .and nobody fired.

  29. Didn’t Jawala Rambaran seek and got judicial protection from being exposed in his divorce proceedings, while trying to hide the fact that his wife withdrew US $1 million dollars from his US bank account in a local bank?
    The court ruled that the Sunshine Newspaper could no longer publish the story.
    So what’s the big deal?

  30. Both parties have people representing that have no integrity, respect and ethics.
    Follow the US and have them step down!
    Or do like Trump and fire them.

  31. Our very own donald trump,I hope mr Rowley looks INTO whether taxpayers money is being used to fund dis jackass lifestyle,from llming in tobago now this, plus what else we don’t know about,Mr Rowley please don’t let these people bring down ur government with their schemes,please take control and clean out ur cabinet,d nation is watching and we r getting FED UP!!!

  32. After being with him she turn round and sue him what a shame .

    • How do you know she was with him? The story said sexual harassment..women are usually bullied into silence ..let’s not blame the victim..and she did not sue him..they paid her to keep quiet before it went to court ..and I want to know why our money being used for this ..this government really picked the cream of the crop to manage the country.

    • Not like the unc crab in barrel

    • Mark Lewis true….unfortunately….corruption abounds under pnm still…

    • Mark Lewis sums it up accurately. UNC when caught with their hands red always quick to turn on each other and fire the main perp in the public eye. Public outcry for UNC shortcomings are huge. Even from UNC supporters. PNM however get away with similar offences. A lot are covered up and not bought to the public eye. And general public dont get on as much. For example, imagine if UNC had the tobago ferry situation as it is now. All of tobago will be suffering or nearly dead. Camfa cudjo would be dying with dem to expose how UNC killing them.

  33. Wait nah, taxpayers have to pay for Ministers to have sex.

  34. remember Glen Ramadhar dey had a field day .whats happeninv now .why Dagwood and Blondie getting involved when taxpayers money is involved.birds of a feather ….. together

  35. Wasn’t there a unc minister who lost his job based on a sexual allegation.if that party was in govt the present prime minister would be braying like a donkey in heat

    • So dam true, Jack, Anand, Anil, Glen, all of them gone. They were in her ass like leach. Cameel, Shamfar, Daarel, Dilleon etc. what’s going with them, Opposition needs to wake up.

    • She fire Glen offa shite.Doh blame d dr for protecting his own.everybody else doing it.

    • Integrity and statesmanship are not a quality all may have,when you condone such conduct ,it tells a lot about what you stand for,if the honorable prime minister doesn’t see a problem,then that should worry all sensible people,if he can’t find a solution ,then he may be part of the problem

  36. This “Non-disclosure agreement signed opens up a pandora box into all type of allegations of this government. It is nothing short but bullying tactics with possible blackmail overtones. The fact that in order to receive a $150. thousand dollars settlement for a “sexual harassment charge, and must first sign that “agreement” exposes a ministry sick to the bone and encouraged by the Minister of Sports Darryl “Hugh Hefner” Smith. Actions like these can only be interpreted as attemps to hide or cover-up a possible “Playboy Mansion” enviroment headed by Hugh himself. With the blessings of Attorney AlRawi and Chief cook and bottle washer Stewart Young, one can easly deduce the anount of corruption tollerated “Behind close doors” GREAT IS THE PNM. GREAT IS THE PNM. AND CORRUPTION SHALL PREVAIL FOREVER!

  37. They could do anything they want and still be in office that how great they are

  38. If TAXSPAYERS money is being use to settle any lawsuit the public has a right to know for what and how much was paid and why we don’t need name of victims if any but we need full disclosure trinidadians wake up

  39. Barrel Smith should start taking care of sportsmen, especially athletes like Richard Thompson and that 4x400m relay team that brought honour to T&T. in London. No time for splurging $91,000 taxpayer dollars on a joyride to Tobago. Rowley should roll dat barrel away.

  40. It’s better to have an ND Agreement which gives / intensifies the perception that there was misconduct than to confirm it by having someone talk to the media. The attorneys have guided the Client well. But I wonder – the AG quoted section 76 of the constitution in the defense of pursuing the matter of Cambridge Analytica yesterday; what makes this alleged sexual misconduct matter the exception in seeking public interest? It must be nice to choose which Client to serve.

  41. If only Lasana was able to undertake a similar journalistic investigation on the last Ministry of Sports administration under UNC/PP Anil Roberts and his Permanent Secretary. If only…

  42. Even worse than Daryl Smith’s transgressions is the AG Faris Al Rawi’s vehement defense/deflection of the issue.
    Faris has proven time and time again his ill fit for the Ministerial position that he holds.

    • Lasana Liburd

      I fully agree. Their stance takes a serious topic and turns it into a silly game of wordplay–all to protect the indefensible.

  43. I remember there were investigative journalists all over Rolph Balgobin, where are they now? Does this used of public funds and NDA not demand the same treatment?

  44. What’s terribly disappointing is when women partake in the perpetuation of sexual harassment through the defamation of the victim and the suppression of facts, evidence to protect the abuser. Damn shame.

  45. I’m usually with Faris… but this is shit.

    As an aside… Is there a reason why “[Claire Munroe]’s” real name isn’t being used?

    • I was 50/50 on that. She did receive State funds. But then she is also an alleged victim of a sexual crime and could potentially become a target for harassment by sycophants.
      Adding her name is another layer of information for story but then it doesn’t significantly add to this tale, I think.
      I know there can be arguments either way but I didn’t feel the pros outweighed the cons.

    • What sexual crime? Yuh mean alleged sexual harassment? Not at all a crime. Also, didn’t she file suit in the Industrial Court or did she just threaten to file via a Pre-action Protocol letter? If she did file then that is a matter of public record and the grounds for concealing her identity here (ironic given the thrust of the article relates to a cover up) becomes even less justifiable.

    • The Industrial Court blocked our FOIA request. And you don’t know the scale of the allegations so you can’t say there wasn’t a sexual crime reported.
      Yes, a suit was filed.

    • Nigel S. Scott That depends on the circumstances, Nigel! I agree sexual harassment is not a crime but she can sue after being sexually harassed. But, if sexual harassment involves unwanted touching, physical intimidation, threats of losing her job, punitive threats for not complying, or some extreme form of coercion, it can quickly turn into sexual assault… a serious crime. Those circumstances we don’t know.

    • I think any speculation of there being a sexual crime is not only specious, but irresponsible as well. If a sexual ‘crime’ was reported then I think you as a journalist would have an obligation to follow up on that… a sitting Minister engaging in criminal conduct then using taxpayers money to cover it up is far more serious an offense than sexually harassing an underling then paying hush money.

      I would also think that the crime would have been reported to police and there would have been a paper trail. I don’t want to detract from Smith’s actions, but I don’t see the justification for concealing the identity of someone who takes affirmative steps to sue in public court. I’m hard pressed to believe that the alleged victim would go sue in court and simultaneously seek to conceal her identity. This is a woman who was paid hush money from public funds as you admit. If she accepts said hush money in agreement for not reporting a crime by a sitting Minister then she is complicit in the cover up and should not be abetted by Wired868.

    • Nigel your view is respected as always.

  46. Glen squeeze a breast on a plane n waz fired…this “fat ass” doin worse n still in office…n ontop of that we money hadda ” jump up”……GREAT IS D PNM!!! Rowley!!! Uh mudda COUNT!!!

  47. Lasana, I understand the PS was moved to another Ministry after this, do you know which one?

  48. Another example of why the ‘rule of law’ is an honour code more than an enforceable authority.

    It’s almost as if Smith was given special dispensation by Parliament to roam, geographically using State money; and on the physical person of others, using State money.

  49. Like Trump is Smith role model or what?!! Too many times he over stepped his crease and only a pat on the hand or head from the PM. If this was a UNC Minister we would never hear the end of resignation calls.! Where are the media houses?? Thanks Wired for doing the job and bringing a keeping it on the front burner. We need more accountability not legalese.

  50. Good points. Its hard to understand how and why the Rowley Govt is defending and backing Smith. It also sends a poor sign about the consequences of sexual harassment. The Govt seems to be supporting the idea that a Minister does not need to be held accountable for misconduct or using tax payers money to a penalty for such misconduct. Its hard to support Rowley’s constant claims the pnm is more transparent and trustworthy then the UNC when his Govt do stuff like this or Sandals. Its poor leadership and you did a nice Job of calling out the double standards here

  51. This is sabotage. I don’t know how it is. I have no proof of it but I’m gonna throw out that word so the apologists will have something to chew on. Grate is the one.

  52. Let me commend Lasana Liburd for getting the facts through aggressive journalism….. which is what we need more of in Trinidad & Tobago….

  53. No, no, no. You cannot spend my money and then tell me you cannot tell me why you spent it. Better than that.

  54. ah tell yuh when they deal with raw-raw it hadda be severe inno

  55. ..Disgraceful. And a woman is involved in the cover up. State resources being used for this. Disgraceful..

  56. What the ×××× allyuh people expect from these shameless Jackasses and Jennyasses ?

  57. Take a break. You all Don ‘t care who you mash up in your quest for scoops.How sad.

  58. Damn, Darryl! Back at it again with the bedroom eyes and roaming hands!!!!

  59. Scotty Ranking

    More story to come on March 30th.Wow… For the two holidays that coexist this year on that date I say two things:

    1. Beat on Darryl like a Good Friday bobolee!

    2. Stepping on the serpent’s head! Oh! Stepping on the serpent’s head! My Redeemer’s stepping on the serpent’s head!!!!

  60. Same khaki pants.. you have patience to keep abreast with these politicians yes

  61. Taxpayer money paying on a private individual’s civil settlement

    #@abuseofpower
    #@abuse or position
    #@abuseoftreasury

    #ministerANDpermanentsecretary

    #contractstocall

  62. Lol Lasana..my big mouth ent!?

  63. And they had the gall to boast that they managed to negotiate down from $184K. I’m waiting for the apologists