Simonette resigns as Govt Senator

Government Senator Garvin Simonette has resigned as a senator, hours after he was scrapped as Marlene McDonald's replacement in Cabinet. 

Simonette issued a statement to the media Monday afternoon announcing his resignation.

He said he sent the prime minister his resignation from the Senate after his arrest record for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge in the United States was circulated online.

He said he also "declined" his appointment to the Cabinet as the new Minister of Public Administration. 

$2 million bail for McDonald

Former Minister of Public Administration Marlene McDonald was placed on bail to the sum of $2 million despite being unable to appear to answer fraud charges in the Port of Spain Magistrates Court this afternoon.

Senior Counsel Pamela Elder made an application for bail as the Port of Spain South MP appeared en absentia as she remains hospitalized at St. Clair Medical.

McDonald faces 7 charges related to fraud and money laundering.

PM takes over McDonald's Public Administration portfolio

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will assume the Public Administration portfolio, the Office of the Prime Minister announced Monday.

This came as the Office of the Prime Minister postponed the swearing-in of a new minister in light of 'new information'.

The official ceremony was scheduled to be held today Monday at President’s House.

The Office of the Prime Minister says new arrangements will be announced.

Earlier today the Prime Minister advised the Office of the President to revoke the appointment of Marlene McDonald as Minister of Public Administration.

New minister's appointment put off in light of 'new information'

The Office of the Prime Minister has pulled back on its decision to appoint Senator Garvin Simonette as the Public Administration Minister to replace Marlene Mcdonald.

In a post on the OPM Facebook page a short time ago, the Office of the Prime Minister said the 2 pm swearing-in ceremony was "cancelled in light of new information."

The Prime Minister will retain responsibility for that portfolio until a new appointment is decided, according to the post.

Elder slams police for holding Marlene longer than expected

Senior Counsel Pamela Elder who is representing fired Public Administration Minister Marlene McDonald has slammed the T&T Police Service for detaining her client longer than expected which resulted in McDonald falling ill this morning and being rushed to the St Clair Medical Centre for medical treatment. 

Elder spoke to the media outside the private hospital after visiting McDonald at the hospital around 11 am.

Marlene ill, taken to St Clair Medical Centre

Former Minister of Public Administration Marlene McDonald has been taken to the St. Clair Medical Centre after she complained of feeling unwell this morning. 

Police sources told Guardian Media that McDonald said she was feeling "dizzy and nauseous," so a precautionary decision was taken to allow her to seek medical treatment. 

Sources said she remains in good spirits, however. Her court appearance has been delayed until this afternoon.

PNM saddened by McDonald situation

The Peoples National Movement says it is saddened by this turn of events involving Port of Spain MP Marlene McDonald.

In a release issued a short while ago, the PNM says it is thankful for the yeoman service Ms. Mcdonald has provided, for the past 12 years.

The party says it has long stood on the side of the law, and particularly under the stewardship of Dr. Rowley.

In this regard, and mindful that the matter is now before the courts, the party wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the independence of the major stakeholders in this ongoing situation.