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“I was feeling very uncomfortable!” The sexual harassment claims that Smith wanted hidden behind NDA

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith’s unwanted advances to former personal staff member, Carrie-Ann Moreau, were at the heart of the latter’s trade dispute with the Ministry, which led to a TT$150,000 pay off with taxpayers’ money.

Moreau’s witness statement—published below without accompanying What’s App messages—claimed that she was very uncomfortable with remarks Smith made about her body on several occasions and, after complaining, she was ‘cold shouldered’ by the Sport Minister and subsequently fired.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s London Olympics 4×100 metre relay team of (from left) Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callender, Marc Burns and Keston Bledman pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) in a ceremony at The Anchorage, Carenage on 29 June 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

“[…] That morning upon his arrival at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the Minister came very close to me and commended me on how well my pants fit,” stated Moreau, about her first moment of genuine discomfort with the Sport Minister.

Her legal submission, published exclusively in the Sunday Express by journalist Dr Sheila Rampersad, counters Smith’s attempts to distance himself from the matter over the past two weeks. It also raises further questions about the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) given to Moreau.

Smith told Trinidad Newsday journalist Carla Bridglal that he was not party to the legal dispute, which was settled on 26 January 2017—a day before the case was scheduled for hearing at the Industrial Court.

“While Ms Munroe 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.”

It was true that the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) were the parties named in the dispute. But it would be misleading to suggest Smith was not involved.

Photo: Minister of Planning and Development and Acting Housing Minister Camille Robinson-Regis (centre) poses with some high school students students during a recycle drive in Port of Spain.
(Copyright Ministry of Planning)

Thus far, the beleaguered Sport Minister has enjoyed the support of his colleagues like Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, Minister in the Office of the Attorney General Stuart Young and Minister of Planning and Development, Chief Whip and PNM Women’s League chair Camille Robinson-Regis.

Robinson-Regis chided the Newsday for following a “non-story” while Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told the media that he had confidence in his Sport Minister.

Intriguingly, Industrial Court documents unearthed by the Express did not include a non-disclosure agreement, which raises questions as to who tried to gag Moreau and whether the document is legally binding.

Wired868 understands that Moreau first encountered the NDA when she went to collect her cheque at the Sport Ministry. Surprised, she eventually signed the document in the presence of her union representative, Teddy Stapleton.

It is uncertain who penned the NDA and under whose instructions. Although Al-Rawi and Young defended the use of the controversial document, available information so far points only to Smith and his then Permanent Secretary Natasha Barrow as being invested in the attempt to cover up Moreau’s witness statement.

The Sport Minister and his PS discussed the NDA, in a document published by Wired868, immediately after Moreau collected her cheque. Barrow was subsequently transferred to Social Development after authorising a TT$92,000 bill for Smith to take an entourage to Tobago for a weekend.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (left) and his then Permanent Secretary and travel agent Natasha Borrow.
Won’t it be cheaper to use Bookings.com?
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

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.”

Moreau is believed to have been the only party to file in the Industrial Court on the matter. Since the Sport Ministry’s legal team never made a submission, it is possible that they did not see the details revealed in today’s Express and made their own settlement offer based on whatever they were told by Smith and the PS at the time of Moreau’s sacking, Joan Mendez.

Wired868 asked Smith to reveal who created the NDA and under whose instructions; and whether the document was meant to not only keep the details of Moreau’s claims from the public but also from his own Cabinet colleagues.

Up to the time of publication, the Sport Minister had not responded.

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)

(Trade Dispute Between Advocate Trade Union & Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and Chief Personnel Officer)

Witness Statement of Party No 1 Carrie-Ann Moreau:

My name is Carrie-Ann Moreau and I was an employee of Party No 2 Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the Company).

I visited the Diego Martin Central Constituency Office on 8 October 2015 in hope of speaking with the Honourable Darryl Smith Member of Parliament for the area concerning his assistance in obtaining a job. I presented him with my resume and he indicated that he had a position in mind, one which involved me being part of his personal staff.

We conversed a bit about family and my previous job and his only questions relative to the job offer was if I “was good in writing” and “preparing of letters” to which I responded in the affirmative. Thereafter I visited his office on two or more occasions to further discuss the position, its remuneration and to meet with the Permanent Secretary. On 3 November 2015 I started working at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

On my first day I was expected to meet co-workers who I would be interacting with during my stay and be in receipt of a comprehensive job description, only the first occurred. During the first few weeks I reported to work for 8am and usually leave between 4:30pm and 5pm. There were occasions when that time runs later if Minister Smith had to attend events.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) and Minister of Public Utilities Fitzgerald Hinds (second from right) meet players from Morvant Caledonia United before kick off against W Connection at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training ground on 20 January 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

My normal arrival at the office I would proceed to Minister’s Office, let him know that I was present. Sometimes he may request a cup of coffee and other times a conversation would ensue where he would talk about his family, the difficulties in his marriage and ask about my family. I would engage the Minister as I saw no ill in these casual conversations.

On a daily basis, it was expected that I would be present for meetings to record the minutes, however he indicated that the Executive Secretary (a permanent employee of the Ministry) could sometimes fill in for me.

From time to time Minister Smith would even offer a compliment on my mode of dress and or my overall disposition. Every so often, he would even applaud my efforts as a single mother, but somehow managed to include comments about needing me to be more available on weekends. One particular morning the Minister went so far as to comment on my posterior and it was from then I began to feel a bit uncomfortable.

On 18 December 2015, the Minister along with the staff were in attendance for a meeting of the National Governing Bodies. A press conference was to follow and thereafter a walkthrough of the St James Youth Facility, that morning upon his arrival at the Hasely Crawford Stadium the Minister came very close to me and commended me on how well my pants fit.

I did not engage in any further conversation, he then gave me instruction to drop a member of his party group home in the area and then go and collect lunch. Minister Smith had supported the venture and it was my duty to ensure he received the lunch. Minister Smith was in company of a gentleman so I decided to quickly dropped off his lunch as I also had to deliver a lunch for his Personal Assistant Karen Edwards.

Photo: Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) poses with then employee Kate Balthazar.

I reminded Minister Smith of this so I tried to quickly deliver his lunch and proceed to the constituency office where Karen was at the time, however the gentleman insisted that he was on his way out so Minister Smith took the time to ask me how I felt the walkthrough went earlier on also my opinion on certain things.

While rendering my response he began to give an ovation to my facial features paying particular attention to my lips stating that they were “very nice” his remarks caught me totally off guard. At this point I was feeling very uncomfortable, I simply tried to continue what I had started talking about regarding the walkthrough at the facility earlier on.

It was a great relief when the Permanent Secretary knocked and entered his office as she needed to discuss some important issues with him. It was then that I make my hasty exit, I then called Karen and informed her that I was on my way and that I needed to discuss something desperately important with her.

On my way there I kept replaying the scenario over and over in my head and tried to convince myself that I needed to have a witness and be very careful with the Minister so that someone would be in my corner and come my defence. When I got to the constituency office, Karen was very warm and welcoming she wanted to know what was so important I was unable to find the words to begin telling her what had transpired, she blurted “what wrong? yuh boss tracking yuh.”

I was in utter shock and began telling her what had transpired. I asked Karen was I doing something wrong or am I carrying about myself in an inappropriate manner to provoke anyone’s suspicion. She replied I did no such thing and proceeded to tell me that I was not the first and will not be the last.

Photo: Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith.

The evening continued with us preparing for the first annual Toy Drive which took place two days later, following which we went to a lounge on Ariapita Avenue to unwind from the day’s work. While there, Minister Smith called me several times all calls went unanswered and Karen was witness to this.

The next day Minister Smith tried to contact me via What’s App messenger. I eventually replied to him explaining to him that I was uncomfortable with some of the things he had said the previous day, he never replied.

Immediately thereafter there was a distinct change in how he interacted with me. Up to this time I had not been in receipt of a Job Description. I was told to report for work at 7:30am and leave whenever the Minister was done with work for the day. Additionally, Minister Smith became very cold in his interaction with me and issued deadlines for the completion of minutes for meetings.

I was now more than ever unclear as to what were my duties and responsibilities, as I was told at the beginning that my job was very simple as I had only four things I had to do. They were to ensure the Minister always shined as the best Minister, that the Ministry was ranked number one, that he was always perceived to be the best MP and that his constituency did everything bigger and better than any other. In order to accomplish this the staff will have to do whatever it takes.

In an effort to seek some form of redress I reported the incident to the Permanent Secretary detailing the circumstance which surrounded my working conditions, however this borne no fruit. From then onwards it became quite a chore to go to work each morning as I was constantly ignored and did not feel like I had a purpose.

Photo: Then Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation officials (from right) Ricardo Lue Shue, Elicia Peters-Charles and David Marquez pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (second from right) prior to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
(Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)

Conversations only took place when the Minister felt like it where he would sometimes hint that he did not feel that the position was the “right fit” for me and felt I needed to be place elsewhere but he had always reassured me that he will never leave me “hanging” knowing I am a single mother.

However on 3 May 2016, I was summoned to the office of the Permanent Secretary who advised me that my service is terminated by Minister Smith with immediate effect. Grounds for dismissal as stated in a letter that was addressed to her were on the basis of him needing someone who had more experience in the preparation of parliamentary documents and that in lieu of notice I would receive one month’s salary. I was never told what [was] the type of experience, neither was it discussed with me on/before my employment.

I have never had any problems with the Ministry since I began working and I am very disappointed with my termination.

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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73 comments

  1. Hmmm a man claimed a member of the previous government tackled him what transpired afterwards? Who the police arrested? hmmmm, I’m seeing where this heading a total separating between man &women total time alone will tell

  2. Gossh boi . Every time you see pics of athletes in T&T some frontish politician squeezing in . No where in the world but Trinidad you seeing that Gezzzzz

  3. Pnm…the only sound party…ooo..kayyy…

  4. So it’s possible to gain entry into the public service without going through service commission?

  5. Is everyting and everybody want a flavor for a favor,the flavor could be male or female it ain’t matter,the just wanna eat ah food.

  6. Darryl, all I can tell you chap is that monkey knows what tree to climb. Trust that statement! PREDATOR!

  7. this man making me sick. Those of you who have family members working alongside man better be careful.

  8. So he did get the Housing Ministry that he wanted soo long ago. WOW.

  9. This sounding true. Doh fire the gyal if you cant hit it na. Thats small. Atleast she cud hv been relocated. Abuse of power but innocent until proved guilty

  10. PNM TAKES CARE OF THEIR OWN….

  11. Smithy you can’t brush everyone g

  12. PNM ,allyuh get these clowns out of office plz. They shaming the Party, the nation, oh geez man. Williams n Manning must be rolling in their graves wat the Party has degenerated into

  13. Blatant evidence and all he gets is a transfer to another ministry. If this was the PPP gov’t there would have been calls for heads to roll. But that only happens in a responsible gov’t….. Not with this inept, morally and ethically Bankrupt set of ignorant representatives.

  14. “I was told at the beginning that my job was very simple as I had only four things I had to do. They were to ensure the Minister always shined as the best The Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobagoer, that the Ministry was ranked number one, that he was always perceived to be the best MP and that his constituency did everything bigger and better than any other. In order to accomplish this the staff will have to do whatever it takes…”
    He’s not looking for a secretary. He is looking a for a magician…

  15. Ha man you don’t have a wife and childern you don’t have respect for them darrel

  16. And now hand it over yuh will get ah house this pee on dem govt. jokey to bad boi !!!!.

  17. You see, the problem is that these incompetent PSs travel far and wide on taxpayers’ account. They claim that they are travelling for training – to France, Germany, Japan, England, USA, Canada etc. but then come back and make the same duncey head mistakes.

  18. Whenever these acts of Harassment are confirmed against anyone, they need to face the consequences themselves. We as the Employers of MPs/Ministers should not be made to pay for their stupidity.

  19. Hmmmmmmmm and now he’s in a position where he has the power to give or not give a home

    • Is he the Minister of Housing? Taut was Keith Rowley.

    • Tricia Roy ah meh chile so what you’re telling me is the minister in the ministry of housing would not be in a position to assist people to get housing? Nor be in a position to abuse that power? Smh this is a position where the scope of people you can abuse your power is much wider than sports

  20. The media attacked this story with the viciousness of a bleary eyed pot hound rousing from a mid day slumber : a half hearted bark before sinking into a coma.

  21. Well you look good. Some of them. Pants fix like guyco so they vex go burn them to dam evil them curse bud johnny they curse for ever toung have bone god will deal with them zandolie hooligan evil wicked people

  22. de media has a responsibility to be de watch dog of society…de ball now on de pm golf course

  23. What is getting me, yuh pay all that money for saying she pants fit nice and lips look nice, is best he did go copa and tell one of them that in Spanish he would’ve come out cheaper.

  24. Out of all pictures y’all would choose with other athletes make it make sense

  25. Smith remind me of de “ah go help yuh get ah house if you keep giving me oral in meh office” man! T & T producing real “tusty” ministers boi!

  26. Exactly WHO was sued and for WHAT? What is/was the minister’s defense? One who was sued and did not know he was sued… sounds like the Tobago Mystery Tombstone.

  27. PeeNM logic:
    Sexual harassment allegations: non story
    Rowlee Mudder Count song: big story

  28. ..Will the women in the party please stand up..

  29. ..”O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”..

  30. That money can go to repair some school let him reimburse the funds

  31. Lasana. I love your brother, but do me one favor if
    You could, you see that photo with Marc burns Richard Thompson Keston bledman and Emanuel Callendar try not to use that, them guys deserve
    More than that, you could use Harvey Weinstein or bill Cosby , but not some Olympic medalist. And hear what you know as I write this I here with 3 of them now. Them guys do not deserve to be associated with a pervert.

  32. U want to tell me Camille ent know the real story behind the whole thing before she made a statement. Bout it’s a non story. Leader of the womens group in the party, speaking out on former issues but quick to defend her colleage and look who end up with egg on their face. Steups

  33. “Robinson-Regis chided the Newsday for following a “non-story” while Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told the media that he had confidence in his Sport Minister” – lest we forget

  34. Lasana Liburd the evidence is there. Camille misspoke which will cost her eventually.

    Isn’t the right thing to do for the PM to send a press release dismissing him of his duties?

    • Earl Best

      The right thing to do in a country where corruption is NOT the norm would be for the Minister to step down. Voluntarily.

      But don’t hold your breath, sister. This is T&T, PNM country; the right thing to do is whatever the population will allow you to get away with. Ask Kamla, Jack, Wade Mark and the rest of that UNC bunch.

  35. Glen Ramadarsingh
    Chanderesh Sharma
    Anil Roberts
    Raymond Tim Kee
    Darryl Smith

  36. “Robinson-Regis chided the Newsday for following a “non-story” while Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told the media that he had confidence in his Sport Minister”