Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Is Rowley hiding Smith sexual harassment report so disgraced MP qualifies for pension?

Dear Editor: Is Rowley hiding Smith sexual harassment report so disgraced MP qualifies for pension?

“It is certain that both [Darryl] Smith and the Prime Minister are aware that once the issue is postponed sufficiently, and this disgraced legislator is allowed to remain in office for five unbroken years, he will automatically qualify for a Pension paid for by the taxpayers of approximately $8,900 per month from the age of 55 years…”

The following Letter to the Editor on Diego Martin Central MP Darryl Smith, who was sacked from the Cabinet after multiple claims of sexual harassment and a cover up, was submitted to Wired868 by Martin Smith:

Photo: Former Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs and Diego Martin Central MP Darryl Smith.

Darryl Smith was fired from the Cabinet in April 2018, well over one year ago, immediately after the Prime Minister had issued an official release which stated that new information had come to the PM in the sexual harassment scandal in the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

In that same release, the PM indicated that he had convened a high-level committee that would examine the facts and report within two weeks.

Well over one year has since passed and the citizens have gotten no further information, and no further action has been taken against Smith, who continues to quietly draw a salary as the Member of Parliament for Diego Martin Central.

It is certain that both Smith and the Prime Minister are aware that once the issue is postponed sufficiently, and this disgraced legislator is allowed to remain in office for five unbroken years, he will automatically qualify for a Pension paid for by the taxpayers of approximately $8,900 per month from the age of 55 years.

If the Smith report somehow emerges before that and Smith is forced to step down as MP before the five years have elapsed, he will get zero dollars in pension—which is exactly what it appears that he deserves.

Photo: Former Sport Minister Darryl Smith (left), Finance Minister Colm Imbert (centre) and former Trinidad and Tobago international hockey goalkeeper Joey Lewis at a sod turning event.
(Courtesy DMRCTT)

From ‘zero dollars per month’ to ‘approximately $8,900 per month’ for the rest of his life, all based on hiding a ‘two week report’ for a few years from the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Two additional things to remember:

Hundreds of thousands in hush money were reportedly paid to help bury this matter; and Attorney General Faris Al Rawi has direct questions to answer in the role of his Office in the finalisation of the secrecy arrangements.

Editor’s Note: Article 49.2 of the Trinidad and Tobago Constitution states that: A member of the House of Representatives shall also vacate his seat in the House where—[…] (e) having been a candidate of a party and elected to the House, he resigns from or is expelled by that party.

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6 comments

  1. Once again this administration missed an opportunity to demonstrate that sexual harassment is unacceptable. Somewhere I read “people do what you do and not what your say”.

  2. Scotty Ranking

    Let me say first and foremost, #DamnDarryl has got to go. No ifs, ands or buts to that. The foot-dragging by the PM, hoping the public conveniently forgets about it, is appalling!

    However, in the writer’s zeal to raise the profile of the Darryl Smith affair, he has managed to disingenuously conflate two unrelated issues to strengthen the call for Smith’s departure.

    For a person to qualify for parliamentary pension as an elected MP, he/she would have to serve two terms as MP. Smith, who is in the midst of his first (and hopefully only) term as a MP simply does not qualify for such. This makes the assertion that he’s holding out to become pensionable quite ludicrous.

    According to media reports, the legal representatives of the Sports Ministry – not the Attorney General – were the ones responsible for drawing up the settlement/non-disclosure documents regarding the Industrial Court case against Smith brought by his accuser/victim. To imply otherwise does a disservice to the AG, regardless of whatever criticisms of him you may have.

    As another colleague said, the gravity of Smith still drawing a salary as MP is more than enough to draw outrage without having to artficially (and erroneously) inject other hot-button issues into the mix.

    • Lasana Liburd

      The AG defended the confidentiality clause in Parliament. And it went to the Office of the AG for approval in the first instance too. I’d say that qualifies as the AG putting the integrity of his office on the line.
      I think the author might also know what he’s saying as far as the pension goes and that one qualifies after one term. I’d have to see proof though.

    • Lasana Liburd

      It is calculated based on the highest level of salary earned, plus the Parliament just added personal allowances to this calculation. Total as Minister approx 53,000. So that is proven right too.

  3. Earl Best

    Good call, Mr Smith. Really good call.

    You omitted to say explicitly that the media, the Fourth Estate, whose role is to keep tabs on the other three estates, have been sleeping on the job, have not been calling out the PM. But it is implied in your letter.

    Maybe they will all start doing their job now that you have pointed the way.

  4. Is this the same reason why he is not acting on the CJ matter? That Archie can retire with full benefits?