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Monday 14 October 2019
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Marlene warded at hospital

Marlene McDonald
Marlene McDonald

MP for Port of Spain South Marlene McDonald has been warded at St Clair Medical Centre.

Her attorney Pamela Elder SC did not disclose her illness but said doctors would determine when McDonald would be discharged.

Only then, will she be able to attend court.

McDonald was fired from Cabinet a third time time today after she was charged with several offences relating to her partner's Calabar Foundation.

A media release from the Communications Ministry said the Prime Minister has advised President Paula-Mae Weekes to revoke her appointment.

McDonald and her partner Michael Carew were arrested at their home last Thursday morning and have been in custody since.
Late last night into this morning the couple were charged.

The investigation stems from cashed cheques amounting to $575,000: one for for $375,000 and the other for $200,000. Both were allegedly issued to the Calabar Foundation, headed by Carew, and collected on May 12, 2010, exactly 12 days before the PNM lost the general election to the People’s Partnership on May 24.

The funds were reported to have been requested to refurbish the foundation’s headquarters on Ariapita Road, St Ann’s, or to build a community centre in Laventille. The purpose and activities of the foundation remain unclear.

The Integrity Commission exonerated McDonald in December 2013 on the Calabar Foundation issue but the allegations were raised again in 2015 when she became housing minister. McDonald was axed as from that post in March 2016 after questions persisted about her behaviour as a minister.

The first issue raised was the allegation that as minister of community development, she arranged for Carew to receive a HDC house at Fidelis Heights, St Augustine, in 2008.

In June, 2017, 15 months later, she was reinstated to the Cabinet as public utilities minister. Both police and the Integrity Commission had investigated her and the commission cleared her a second time on the Calabar issue.

Two days later, she was fired from that portfolio after she was photographed with Cedric “Burkie” Burke – a Sea Lots businessman who has been arrested and released by police on several occasions for various enquiries. He had been McDonald’s guest at her swearing-in as minister at President’s House.

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