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Did I lie about my military service, asks Mayor? Must have been the bump on the head

 

A north Queensland mayor accused of misconduct has apologised for misleading voters, blaming “100-plus” concussions for a poor recollection of his past.

May 31, 2024, updated May 31, 2024
Councillor Troy Thompson spoke about his service history during his successful mayoral campaign.(Supplied: Troy Thompson)

Councillor Troy Thompson spoke about his service history during his successful mayoral campaign.(Supplied: Troy Thompson)

However, Troy Thompson said he had no intention of stepping aside as Townsville mayor, accusing the media of “morally poor” behaviour.

Mr Thompson was this week referred to the state’s corruption watchdog after he claimed during his successful mayoral campaign that he had served five years in the military.

He had been challenged about his Australian Defence Force career since Anzac Day after he was unable to recall his service number.

In an interview with Nine Network’s A Current Affair on Thursday night, Mr Thompson said he thought he had served five years when he had spent less than three.

“Those who know me know that I’ve had multiple concussions – 100-plus – and I suffer from epilepsy,” he said.

“That’s not an excuse but what it says is you’re going to forget things from time to time.”

Mr Thompson would not concede he had embellished the truth during his campaign as he was adamant he had served five years until he received his official military records recently.

The mayor said he now had second thoughts about initial plans to publicly release his defence dossier.

“I apologise to all services as well as veterans and Defence and I think it’s important to put that out there because I respect the military,” he said.

Mr Thompson also conceded he had not finished university after describing himself as a business graduate with two degrees.

“I started them off and then life changed – it was that simple,” he said.

Mr Thompson on Friday took a swipe at the media including Nine’s report.

“I gave ACA the opportunity to report and have me tell my story, instead they wrote a story to create negativity,” he posted on Facebook.

Mr Thompson’s lengthy post also featured pictures he claimed showed media outside his residence.

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“When media circle your house, bang on your door, harass your family, friends, that is going too far for a story,” he posted.

“When they harass older family members of your family, that is a new level of low.

“I have these photos, the video of this, and it is morally poor, and those reporters should be ashamed of themselves.”

Mr Thompson claimed media harassment of “people associated with me” had affected their mental health and led to some losing their jobs.

“There is a reason newspaper, and television media is on the decline,” he said.

“Negativity causes harm.”

Mr Thompson won office in March, unseating Jenny Hill who had been mayor for 12 years.

Mr Thompson said he was proud of his achievement and had no plans to walk away.

“I have no intention to step aside as some of the naysayers would like,” he said.

“I will work incredibly hard to be transparent, and clear on our direction, and promote Townsville in the positive light it deserves.”

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