Adrian Frater, News Editor
Western Bureau:Montego Bay Deputy Mayor Michael Troupe has declared he is ready to surrender his political career to pursue the defamation lawsuit he has initiated against the Government formed by his own political party.
Troupe's action stems from recent suggestions from the police's Anti-Lottery Task Force, which intimated that he was a major player in the illicit lottery scam after raiding his home and arresting him.
"None of the positions I hold in either the parish council or the PNP (People's National Party) executive are more important to me than my reputation," Troupe told The Gleaner yesterday.
"If they (the PNP) try to prevent me from proceeding with this lawsuit, I am ready to resign all my positions and walk away from politics," added Troupe, the councillor for the Granville division, vice-chairman of the PNP's Region Six and a member of the party's NEC.
"I wrote my resignation (as deputy mayor) right after I was released from lock-up," continued Troupe. "It (the letter of resignation) is in my car trunk right now and I ready to pull it out at any time."
In the lawsuit, which Troupe's attorney filed earlier this week against the attorney general, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, Anti-Lottery Task Force head Senior Superintendent of Police Leon Clunis, and media houses Television Jamaica and CVM Television, he is claiming that he was "falsely and maliciously arrested".
claims of ties to scam
Troupe's lawsuit stems from his arrest on the morning of July 18 when the task force, led by Clunis, raided his Granville home, claiming that he had ties to the lottery scam.
In simultaneous raids across several St James communities, Troupe's friend and fellow PNP councillor, Sylvan Reid of the Salt Spring division, was also arrested.
"I was handcuffed and paraded through the streets of Granville in an open-back police vehicle and then later locked up for nine days," said Troupe. "I suffered personally, my family suffered and my business had to be closed down."
According to the suit, Troupe is also claiming that certain untrue words were spoken by the superintendent and the police commissioner, which were broadcast by both TVJ and CVM.
Troupe is claiming aggravated, exemplary and constitutional damages.