Reporting Carl Stevens
BOSTON (CBS) – Friday was the last day on the job for Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner, two days after his fellow councilors decided to expel him because of his recent felony bribery conviction.
Turner had already packed his personal belongings and spent much of the day answering emails and phone calls.
“I don’t feel sadness or a sense of ‘oh they’ve taken me away from my ability to do a job’,” Turner told WBZ News Radio’s Carl Stevens. “I was here out in the community as a leader for 33 years before I came here. So I’m just going to go back and continue to do what I’ve been doing for the last 40-something years.”
Assuming he’s out of jail. Sentencing for his felony bribery conviction is in January.
Sitting behind his empty desk, Turner did not seem particularly upset about losing his job on the council. He said Friday that he wasn’t sure he wanted to run for another term, anyways.
“I ran for the first time in ’59. I didn’t run to become a career politician,” Turner said. “I was just running to use my organizing skills to strengthen the situation in the district and to see how government ran from the inside.”
After spending more than a decade on Boston City Council, councilors voted 11-1 on Wednesday to remove the 70-year-old from office. He said he will support Tito Jackson to succeed him.
As for the council’s historic vote to expel him, Turner pointed out that the nine white councilors voted against him, and so did the two at-large councilors of color. He said that could come back to bite them.
“Is there a way for us to reconcile over these next ten months, that is Ayanna Pressley and Felix, to reconcile with the people who are supporting me throughout the city? I can’t say. But I think it’s in the interest of people of color and the progressive people in the city to really look at the question of whether we can reconcile, because they made a mistake. They exposed themselves to the reality that they were willing to settle for political expediency.”
But that’s for the future. As for the present, Chuck Turner – whose campaign bumper stickers read Bold, Bald and Bright – is hanging up the phone at Boston City Hall.