An ex-police officer who was awarded more than £800,000 in compensation from his force after he was wrongfully sent to prison will stand for election as its Police and Crime Commissioner.
Sultan Alam's life was ruined by a malicious prosecution brought by Cleveland Police colleagues which saw him jailed for handling stolen goods in 1996.
He served half of his 18-month sentence behind bars and, once free, began a lengthy battle to clear his name while working as a taxi driver.
In 2007 he was cleared by the Court of Appeal and in April this year Leeds County Court ruled he will receive more than £800,000 in compensation.
After "long and very careful deliberation" he has decided he will stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming PCC elections.
Cleveland Police are undergoing turbulent times as an investigation is being carried out into the alleged conduct of senior officers.
In a statement, Mr Alam said: "In recent memory Cleveland Police has been subjected to more that its fair share of controversy, scrutiny and difficulties which have, at times, detracted from its primary functions and effected the moral of all its decent hardworking personnel, let alone the effect it has had on the confidence of the people of Cleveland: they deserve better.
"The dedicated personnel of Cleveland Police deserve better.
"Without any disrespect to the present Police Authority, it will only get better when there is responsible, decisive and politically independent leadership.
"I am a retired Police Officer. During my service I received commendations from Crown Court Judges on two separate occasions - for bravery and for tenacity in carrying out my duties on the front line of policing.
"I also received a commendation for saving a man's life. Before I retired I was decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal, by Cleveland Police.
"I have an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the police service and of the Criminal Justice system.
"As local people will know, I have seen the Criminal Justice system from many different aspects.
"I spent many years, fearlessly, fighting for justice and stood my ground, for over 17 years, fighting for the truth and for what is right - I will represent the people of Cleveland with just as much tenacity, strength and passion."
He added: "In case some people think that this is a way for me to 'get even' with Cleveland Police then please be assured right here and now that nothing could be further from the truth; that episode is at an end and in all those years I have never criticised the 'Police Service' - I have always stated that individuals were to blame, not the Police Service.
"I will work with Cleveland police and all other agencies with only one agenda - to represent and protect the interests of the Cleveland Community without fear or favour."