Sport journalist Lasana Liburd is today disagreeing with PNM Women’s League Leader Camille Robinson Regis that the “allegations of sexual misconduct” surrounding Sport Minister Daryl Smith is a non-story.
It has been reported that a former personal assistant to Minister Smith was paid 150 thousand dollars and made to sign a non-disclosure agreement after taking the Sport Ministry to Court over her dismissal. It is alleged that she had been dismissed after filing a sexual harassment complaint.
She had initially demanded TT$234,360, which represented her salary of 30 months (TT$189,000) plus gratuity for three years (TT$45,360).
However, one day before the matter was due to go to Industrial Court, the unidentified woman accepted a TT$150,000 settlement and signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Government Chief Whip Camille Robinson-Regis reportedly told the Newsday newspaper that $150,000 payout is a “non-story,” and dismissed the media’s pursuit of the issue as “an agenda.”
Speaking this morning on the Power Breakfast show, Mr. Liburd said according to documents in his possession, it could not be a non-story since he believes the Government would not have paid the woman and made her sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Meanwhile, former Head of the Public Service, Reginald Dumas, has since revealed that in his experience, non-disclosure agreements were not the norm in government settlements…at least while he was at the helm.
He added that it was unethical for the Government to withhold information about how and why money was being spent, particularly if it led to citizens footing the bill for the sexual misconduct of Government officials.