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Cox cries for McDonald at police station

Alimentos, Importación, Bogotá, Colombia, Venezuela, Panamá, Panamá Papers
Cox cries for McDonald at police station

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Min­is­ter Don­na Cox’s eyes welled up with tears when she vis­it­ed em­bat­tled PNM MP Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald yes­ter­day at St Joseph Po­lice sta­tion and prayed with Mc­Don­ald.

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“I couldn’t help it, the tears just came up, but I didn’t want her to see that so I tried to keep it to­geth­er,” Cox added.

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Cox vis­it­ed dur­ing Mc­Don­ald’s fourth day in po­lice cus­tody. Mc­Don­ald was ar­rest­ed her St Joseph home last Thurs­day. This, fol­low­ing po­lice probe con­cern­ing Mc­Don­ald and her com­mon-law hus­band Michael Carew re­gard­ing al­leged mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds.

Sev­er­al oth­er peo­ple were sub­se­quent­ly ar­rest­ed in­clud­ing a for­mer per­ma­nent sec­re­tary. One per­son, who was in To­ba­go, was held when he ar­rived at the Pi­ar­co Air­port. Mc­Don­ald’s col­leagues have ral­lied around her, ex­press­ing con­cern for her health and Op­po­si­tion col­leagues have al­so warned sup­port­ers not to gloat or crit­i­cise her.

Cox said: “She had oth­er vis­i­tors in re­cent days, but I went yes­ter­day be­cause at the end of the day, she’s a col­leagues and we care about her and we want­ed her to know that. It has noth­ing to do with some­one be­ing in­no­cent or guilty, it still in­volves a hu­man be­ing. We have an ac­tive Women’s League and we’re be­ing there for her.”

“As part of the PNM , we’re sup­posed to ral­ly around col­leagues and I’m proud of my oth­er col­leagues who’ve al­so been vis­it­ing and check­ing.”

Cox said Mc­Don­ald was dressed in a pantsuit and was in good spir­its when she saw her

“I got there around mid­day and we spent al­most 90 min­utes to­geth­er. She looked well, her face wasn’t stressed or so. She’s al­so in good health so far. They were tak­ing care of her very well. We talked about some work re­lat­ed is­sues . But I al­so held on to her and prayed with her . As I left I told her to, trust in the Lord.”

Port-of-Spain South col­leagues, who car­ried food for Mc­Don­ald on Sat­ur­day, said they not­ed po­lice were treat­ing her “re­al­ly well.”

UNC MP Bar­ry Padarath quipped yes­ter­day: “The way I know Mar­lene, I re­al­ly hope some­one brought Sun­day lunch for her.”

He said Prime Min­is­ter Kei­th Row­ley’s com­ments on Mc­Don­ald have changed from what Row­ley said ini­tial­ly (af­ter he reap­point­ed her a min­is­ter in 2018) to a dif­fer­ent po­si­tion in re­cent days

In Par­lia­ment in 2018 af­ter her reap­point­ment then, Padarath asked Row­ley if Mc­Don­ald was cleared by the In­tegri­ty Com­mis­sion and/or po­lice of all wrong do­ing.

Row­ley had said he made Cab­i­net ap­point­ments and didn’t de­pend on a com­mis­sion let­ter—but he didn’t re­spond re­gard­ing the po­lice.

Then, Padarath had not­ed Row­ley re­moved Mc­Don­ald in 2016 be­cause of a com­mis­sion probe in­to al­le­ga­tions of mis­be­hav­iour in pub­lic of­fice and a po­lice probe. Padarath at that time said Row­ley’s ra­tio­nal for con­tin­u­ous hir­ing/fir­ing/re­hir­ing of Mc­Don­ald was in­con­sis­tent

Yes­ter­day, Padarath added: “He’s boast­ed he ran a cor­rup­tion-free Gov­ern­ment, yet his deputy leader’s in this sit­u­a­tion and he hasn’t an­swered ques­tions on oth­er min­is­ters: where’s the re­port on Dar­ryl Smith and the min­istry’s pay­out to an ex-fe­male em­ploy­ee? Camille Robin­son-Reg­is’ bank de­posit, the St Clair prop­er­ty rent­ed by Gov­ern­ment. Plus sev­er­al min­is­ters who didn’t file In­tegri­ty Com­mis­sion sub­mis­sions.”