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Trump fires J'can White House chief usher

Published:Friday | May 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this 2011 file photo Jamaica-born Angella Reid (left), greets Jamaica's ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, at a welcome reception upon the latter's arrival in the United States capital.

Angella Reid, a Jamaican, has been fired by the Trump administration as the chief usher of the White House. She had been hired under Barack Obama's administration and was responsible for the management of the building and its staff.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Reid is the first woman and second African-American to serve in the position after a career in hospitality.

The BBC, in its report, quoted spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders as saying, "She is no longer employed here at the White House. We left on very good terms and we wish her the very best.

"It is simply nothing more than the transition of staff," Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

According to the White House Historical Association, the chief usher's role includes overseeing "construction, maintenance, remodelling, food, as well as the administrative, fiscal and personnel functions".

The Jamaica-born Reid worked closely with the First Family (Obama) and provided guidance on matters of furnishing, art and decor, writes the Washington Post.

Reid told the BBC that she had no comment to make about her departure. Another report quoted her as saying, "I think it's best if the White House explains."

The Gleaner featured Reid in a 2011 article. It revealed that she was born in Trinityville, St Thomas, and attended the Excelsior High School in Kingston before she became a front-office trainee at the Half Moon hotel in Montego Bay in 1978.

The Gleaner had spoken with her sister, Fiona Shaw-Davis, who said her entire family was elated by the appointment, but not surprised, having watched Reid excel in the hospitality sector over the years.

"She is a go-getter and she wanted her next job to be in the government service of the United States," said Shaw-Davis.