A disciplinary hearing is being conducted by the Boston City Council today during which Chuck Turner, who has represented Roxbury, is expected to be ousted.
Last month, Turner was convicted in federal court of attempted extortion and providing false statements to FBI agents. The dramatic trial featured a video , testimony and cross-examination of the Councilor, and a shouting confrontation between the U.S. Attorney and a key government witness. Prosecutors had alleged that Turner accepted money to help Ronald Wilburn, a Boston business man cooperating with the FBI, to get a liquor license. Turner is to be sentenced on January 25, and prosecutors haven’t disclosed what they will recommend. In the meantime, the City Council could expel Turner by a 2/3 vote at today’s disciplinary hearing. Six councilors have already stated that they will vote for removal, and 8 will be enough for expulsion. If it goes through, the expulsion will be effective Friday.
This is a high-profile example of how a criminal conviction can wreak havoc on a person’s future and reputation. Although Turner worked in public service for more than a decade, he could now suffer the humiliation of being the first member removed from office in the 100-year history of the City Council. Under state law, the conviction will force him to forfeit his city pension. If expelled, he could also lose his biweekly paycheck. This will all be in addition to his ultimate sentence, which could be up to 20 years for the extortion charge and up to 5 years each for the false statement charges.
If you have been charged with a crime, you need to hire an excellent defense attorney to protect not only your liberty but also your name, career and future.
The Boston Globe: Turner’s City Council career expected to end later today
The Boston Globe: Boston Councilor Chuck Turner convicted on all counts in corruption case
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