BOSTON (CBS) — How many more times will Chuck Turner be allowed to walk to his City Council office since he was convicted a week ago of accepting a bribe in 2007 and lying to the FBI?
After his arrest in 2008, the City Council adopted Rule 40A which says, in part, “…a member may be unqualified by violating federal or state law…” The rule requires a two-thirds majority roll call vote for any action.
Ironically, Turner voted for Rule 40A. “Although, I’ve been approached by a lawyer who says he’s not sure the council has that power,” said Turner, who wants to complete his term, which runs through the end of next year.
The City Council has set a hearing for December 1 to decide whether to allow him to stay.
He’s asked that be postponed until after his sentencing January 25. He could stay on the council if he gets probation. If he gets prison time, state law requires him to leave.
In an interview Friday with WBZ-TV Turner was asked if a little contrition might help his cause.
“Contrition? What’s contrition mean? If I said I did it I’d be lying. I didn’t do it. I’m not going to lie to my people. I’m not going to lie to court. I’d rather spend time. I’d rather die in jail than lie. And I’m certainly not going to beg an establishment that has set me up and lied and bamboozled a jury into finding me guilty,” he asserted.
However long Turner ends up serving in the City Council chamber, he says he expects to serve time in prison because he’s at war.
“I see myself as a soldier in the war for human rights here in the country and the world. You know, captured doesn’t make sense, perhaps, for people but from my perspective the other side will take you down and will put you off into jail.”
The 11-year veteran of the City Council says he thinks he could be sentenced to two years behind bars.
“I’ll do the time and come back and do the work. Look, I’m 70 years old. Couple of years in jail, I’d be 72, come back and do the work,” said Turner.
As he continued his work at City Hall Friday, none of his fellow Councilors would comment on what they’ll do about his future on the Council.
Turner has said in a letter to supporters he will not appeal his verdict. He says the problem is it puts pressure on his fellow Councilors to vote him off the Council and the appeal process moves too slowly to help him remain on the Council.