Police arrest Marlene McDonald

Two top-rank­ing po­lice of­fi­cials have con­firmed that Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­is­ter Mar­lene Mc­Don­ald is be­ing ques­tioned by po­lice.

The of­fi­cers, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, said po­lice de­tained her for ques­tion­ing this morn­ing.

 

Re­li­able sources con­firmed the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­lates to the dis­tri­b­u­tion of over a mil­lion dol­lars to three or­gan­i­sa­tions from he Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­istry but the funds were nev­er used for that pur­pose.

Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent To­taram Dookhie, who was the for­mer head of the Fraud Squad Unit and is now at the helm of the Pro­fes­sion­al Stan­dards Bu­reau, led the op­er­a­tion this morn­ing.

Po­lice have con­tin­ued their in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the Cal­abar Foun­da­tion mat­ter in which Mc­Don­ald al­leged­ly arranged for her part­ner to re­ceive an HDC home in Fi­delis Heights, St. Au­gus­tine back in 2008.

Po­lice were al­so in­ves­ti­gat­ing con­cerns raised about near­ly $600,000 paid out by the Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ty De­vel­op­ment while Mc­Don­ald led that min­istry un­der the Patrick Man­ning gov­ern­ment.

The In­tegri­ty Com­mis­sion had ex­on­er­at­ed Mc­Don­ald on the Cal­abar Foun­da­tion probe in 2013 then re-opened it in 2015 be­cause of new in­for­ma­tion. She was again ex­on­er­at­ed in 2016, but po­lice con­tin­ued their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Mc­Don­ald was re­moved from the Cab­i­net in the mid­dle of the con­tro­ver­sy, then re- ap­point­ed in 2017. She was swift­ly fired af­ter Sea Lots res­i­dent Cedric "Burkie" Burke at­ten­der her swear­ing-in cer­e­mo­ny as her in­vit­ed guest at Pres­i­dent's House unan­nounced.

Mc­Don­ald is a se­nior Cab­i­net min­is­ter and MP for Port-of-Spain South, which en­com­pass­es East Port-of-Spain, Sea Lots and oth­er crime hot-spot com­mu­ni­ties.

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