Laventille East Morvant MP Adrian Leonce with prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Acting President Christine Kangaloo. Photo: Jermaine Cruickshank

Laventille East Morvant MP Adrian Leonce does not think his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities came as a result of the current Marlene McDonald controversy.

Leonce was sworn in at 1pm today.

He told reporters at the swearing in ceremony, at President’s House, that Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley contacted him about his new portfolio just this morning.

“I was very happy to be called upon to do additional service and I want to do it to the best of my ability,” he said.

Asked how he felt about taking up the position on the heels of McDonald being fired as Public Administration Minister, in light of corruption related charges against her, he said:

“I don’t think my appointment had anything to do with that, so again I’m very happy to receive this appointment.”

Leonce said he was also happy to work under Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte, who was present at this afternoon’s ceremony.

“He’s a very hard-working and a Minister that always delivers. I think I will learn a lot under him and I think my engineering background will also serve as some form of advantage in the work that we are going to do,” Leonce said.

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McDonald, who is MP for Port of Spain South, was fired as Minister on Monday and her appointment as deputy political leader of the PNM was revoked by the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

Rowley announced this morning that Minister in the Ministry of Finance Allyson West will replace her.

Foster Cummings, who was fired in July as a Government Senator to make way for Donna Cox to be appointed as Communications Minister and Government Senator, will be re-hired and will return to the Senate.

Cummings, Rowley, Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell and former Public Utilities Minister Ancil Antoine were present at the swearing in ceremony for Leonce.

Rowley did not take questions from the media.


Although Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the Public Service has deteriorated and many public servants produce “absolutely nothing” and expect to be paid, he said yesterday he did not describe them as “lazy”.

Police have provided Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) secretary general Satnarayan Maharaj with a copy of the warrant which gave them the authority to search the Tunapuna premises of Radio and TV Jaagriti.

Attorney Michael Quamina has dismissed criticisms and questions over his appointment as chairman of Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd (TPHL), ­saying he is ready to take on the job. He said concerns over potential conflict of interest with him being Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s lawyer in the “fake oil” scandal are unfounded.

FRAUD and conspiracy accused Michael Carew was released from jail yesterday morning. Carew has been in custody since last Monday. Carew is the husband of fired public administration minister Marlene McDonald, who is outside on $2 million bail.