Boston City Council Expels Chuck Turner

December 2, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yesterday, in a move unprecedented in its 100-year history, the Boston City Council voted to expel one of its own. The decision to oust Councilor Chuck Turner, who was recently convicted on federal corruption charges, was almost unanimous; the lone dissenter was Councilor Charles Yancey.

Chuck Turner in the Boston City Council chamber during the vote to oust him from office. (Click on the image to view)

Turner, who had been a city councilor since 1999, insisted that he was “set up” and did not in fact take a $1,000 bribe to help a businessman obtain a liquor license and then lie about it to authorities. He said that the FBI admitted in court that they were going after now-convicted former Senator Dianne Wilkerson and they decided that while they were at it, they might as well investigate him. He contended that the investigation was motivated by racism (“The purpose was to take us down because they saw the power of communities of color rising just like the Irish power rose’’) and class (“In a city where the gap between the rich and poor is getting wider and wider, I’m a dangerous threat”). Councilors Felix Arroyo and Ayanna Pressley, who had long supported Turner (Arroyo used to work for him), had tears in their eyes as they revealed that they felt compelled to vote to eject him. In response, some of the many Turner supporters in attendance shouted “Traitor!” After the vote Turner vowed to campaign against his former colleagues in the next city council elections.  Turner will be sentenced on January 25th and could face prison time.

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