Michelle Muscat, the Marigold Foundation chairperson and wife of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat, has changed the designation of her two state-funded drivers at her NGO amid an investigation into how she spends government money.
The pair, one seconded from the Cleansing Department and the other from Transport Malta, are now being called “logistics managers” when the Standards Commissioner is probing claims of her abuse of public funds.
Sources told The Shift that both seconded government employees still carry out tasks such as driving the couple’s children to school and carrying her bags while shopping.
Insiders said that just a few months ago, one of the two drivers suddenly left and returned to his government job, openly telling his colleagues he had had enough.
Soon after, another driver was found at Transport Malta and sent to ‘help’ Michelle Muscat at her Foundation, which she took over from Bank of Valletta, after receiving thousands of euro, for only €100.
He is now called a ‘manager’ but still drives and does other errands during Marigold’s working hours.
Last April, independent MEP candidate Arnold Cassola asked the Standards Commissioner for an official investigation of claims of abuse by Michelle Muscat. He passed on an anonymous letter he had received detailing how she was using two government employees, seconded to the Marigold Foundation, as her personal drivers.
According to the claims, the two employees are also being paid allowances and overtime for tasks related to the personal needs of the Muscats rather than the Foundation. Muscat denies the claims.
The Shift has already revealed that following his forced departure, Prime Minister Robert Abela conceded a fully expensed car for Michelle Muscat in an unprecedented move.
This was part of a lucrative severance package given to the former prime minister, which included a €120,000 golden handshake, another car for his use with a full-time driver and personal assistant, and a waterfront office in Sa Maison.
Last week, The Shift also revealed how ex-transport minister Joe Mizzi’s former personal assistant has joined Michelle Muscat’s Foundation and is receiving a salary from the state.
Mariella Agius Vassallo was seconded to assist Muscat just a few months after she was given a well-paid promotion to work as a policy officer at the Energy and Water Agency despite having no known relevant experience or qualifications.
So far, Standards Commissioner Joe Azzopardi has not concluded his probe on Michelle Muscat.