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Monday 20 May 2019
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Young: Smith’s sacking not due to public outcry

The Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, always acts on the basis of facts and evidence, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young, said yesterday.

Asked if public outcry had anything to do with the sacking of embattled former Sport Minister, who for one day was also appointed junior minister in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development before having his appointment revoked, Young told reporters at the post-Cabinet media briefing, Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, “That is not how this Prime Minister operates.”

“The PM did a certain level of investigation. He had Minister of Planning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis do some preliminary investigations. He then acted on the basis (of her report), as he’s told us, and then took an additional precaution of appointing an investigative committee,” Young said.

He noted the committee was a “three-lady investigative committee,” asked if that was deliberate he said it was not a capricious decision and the women were specialised in their fields. Asked why a committee was needed if there was already a report from Robinson-Regis, he said that was preliminary report and Rowley “in his discretion, his experience and his wisdom” saw it necessary to appoint an independent committee to dig a little deeper.

The committee, which comprises former permanent secretary Jackie Wilson, women’s rights activist Folade Mutota and attorney Elaine Greene, will investigate the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of a former Ministry of Sport official.

Smith had been the subject of sexual harassment allegations by his former personal assistant, who was ultimately fired. She filed a wrongful termination suit and subsequently settled with the ministry for $150,000. Asked about reports in the media that other women had come forward with similar accusations against Smith, Young said, “Not that I am aware of.”

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