MONTEGO BAY, St James — The calls came swiftly yesterday for the resignation of councillor for the Montego Bay South Eastern Division Arthur Lynch, who was suspended by the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) after being charged with illegal possession of firearm and assault at common law.
The charges stem from an alleged dispute with his wife. Though the firearm allegedly drawn during the family fracas is licensed, according to police sources the councillor has been slapped with illegal possession charges as the weapon was used improperly.
Yesterday, after news of Lynch's suspension broke, head of Ark of the Covenant Holy Trinity in Savanna-la-Mar, Bishop Oneil Russell, argued that the elected official should be given the same treatment meted out to Member of Parliament (MP) for Westmoreland Central George Wright. After a video surfaced of a man beating a woman with his fists and a stool, Wright was questioned by the police. He has never denied or acknowledged being the man in the video and the investigation stalled with the police citing poor video quality and the absence of a complaint. The JLP later asked Wright to resign and he is now an independent MP.
“I am personally calling on the General Secretary Horace Chang to take action. The same way the party took action to remove Wright, take action to remove this councillor. Let him go independent or wherever he wants to go. Let it not be said that it was right for others and it was for wrong for another,” Russell told the J amaica Observer.
He added, “If it is true, he needs to be fired the same way Wright was removed from the JLP; we should be partial to nobody.”
Lynch, he said, has brought shame to the JLP and should be shunned.
“These incidents are too prevalent, they just happen too often. And, in this case, especially with an individual in authority, he needs to understand that he should not be involved in these things. People get firearms to protect their property and themselves, there should be no allegations of that individual using their firearm to threaten anybody or inflict wounds,” the bishop argued.
Meanwhile, former parliamentarian Lloyd B Smith told the Observer that, if Councillor Lynch is proved guilty, he should do the honourable thing and step down or be asked to resign.
He urged the JLP to act quickly.
“I would expect the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to act swiftly to disassociate itself from this gentleman based on what has occurred, because this is an egregious act that was committed by a public servant,” the former parliamentarian added.