Chuck Turner Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison

BOSTON (CBS) — Former Boston city council Chuck Turner was sentenced Tuesday to three years in federal prison and three years supervised release in his corruption case. He has also been ordered to forfeit $1,000.

The former Boston city councilor was found guilty in October of accepting a $1,000 bribe and lying to FBI agents. His trial lasted 12 days and deliberations last one day.

Turner will start serving his sentence on March 25.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.

Prosecutors argued Turner, 70, has repeatedly shown disregard for the court, particularly when he lied under oath.

During his trial, prosecutors argued that in June 2007 former State Senator Dianne Wilkerson asked Turner help get Ronald Wilburn of Roxbury get a liquor license. Wilkerson accepted $23,500, in bribes from Wilburn, who cooperated with the FBI.

In August 2007, Turner invited Wilburn to his district office. A video taken during that meeting and played at trial showed Turner accepting the $1,000 bribe, while simultaneously discussing his efforts to assist Wilburn in obtaining a liquor license.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

Turner has maintained his innocence. His attorney suggested that probation, along with supervised release was reasonable saying “the facts in this case do not justify incarceration.”

“The defendant’s testimony does not constitute perjury on its face. The Defendant testified that he did not remember meeting with Wilburn. However, he did not deny that meeting ever took place or that what was passed to him and depicted in a video-recording was money,” Barry Wilson, Turner’s attorney, wrote in his sentencing memorandum filed with the court.

“Mr. Turner was sentenced to prison today because of the choices he made and the actions he took during the course of this case,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “In 2008, Mr. Turner had the chance to assist the FBI in an ongoing public corruption investigation. Instead of telling the truth, he lied. He then went on to testify falsely under oath. It is the obligation of every elected official to be ethical and honest, and in this case, Mr. Turner was neither. Public corruption is more than a violation of the law, it erodes the public’s trust in the very system that was designed to protect us.”

  • kevin

    what about arthur hitchman of the ABCC indicted in july of bribery and extortion charges. does he get jailtime too like wilkerson and now turner?

    • Cynic

      Of course not.

  • JoeMan

    Don’t fret…! He’ll be back in office when he gets out.

  • john

    joe man …
    yeah, criminals voting for criminals

  • blakcadyguy

    I heard the feds are investigating him still…along with Robert Travaglini and Sal Lamatina…for some big bribes that have to do with East Boston Businesses!

  • jack

    Hope it’s a HARD 3 years!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Newtonian

    Justice has been served … Eat up Chuck

  • mark

    Don’t forget Sal Dimasi and his buddy Richard Vitale from the crooked accounting firm
    Vitale-Carterano. Miss spelled that last name but there based in the north end. As Crooked as they come!!!

  • Cynic

    I wonder how many Pieces of Silver Mr. Wilburns $30,000.00 will buy…. 30 I suppose.

  • guest

    thank god!

  • emom

    You Know he will have a nice comfy suit in the corner of the jail, Yup with all the ammenities of home, tv, cable, internet, cell phone curtains, grand meals, heat, luxury bathroom, long showers and fine dining with wine. Yeah all the comforts of home,,,,,

  • john

    maybe they can put chuck in adjoining cell with dianne …there they can hash out there next adventure

  • Buddy

    Tell how this guy gets three years for a bribe of $1000. Let’s talk about John Tierney wife? How can she launder seven million in offshore money from her on the run fugitive brother and only get 30 days in the slammer? thsi is followed by 5 months home confinement and 2 years supervised release?

    She broke more than tax laws here. How about a RICO act? No question John Tierney played a part in such a lenient sentence as did Martha Coakley. Just another case of an injust penal system we have here in this country never mind the Commonwealth of Mass. It’s a BS system and it goes to show that depending upon who you are you can do whatever you want and get away with it pretty much scott free.

    I would have to say the sentence here was more than lenient and perhaps the folks of the Commonwealth broke some laws themselves to give such a sentence!!!!!!

  • Denise

    I think it’s funny that he still says he’s innocent. What is it that we missed if he’s innocent? did they stop the tape when he realized they put $$ in his hand and tried to give it back? So we only got part of the story? Ya that’s what we all believe! The sad part is he will probably be re-elected when he gets out and we all wonder why the government is so corrupt.. they’re allowed to be because we keep voting the same people in!

  • DStein

    Chuck deserves the 3 years. But that means Dianne Wilkerson should’ve received 8-10, not 3-4.

    There is also a troubling trend here that black politicians breaking the law get jail time and convicted white poltiicians don’t. I’m still wondering how Tom Finneran and Charle Flaherty not only get to walk free, but get a standing ovation at the State House. Let’s hope when Sal DiMasi gets convicted, and he will, that he spends at least 3 years behind bars before any parole is even considered. Not only that, the executives at the software company that bribed him should do time in prison too.

  • Former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner Heads To Prison Friday « CBS Boston

    […] (AP) — A former Boston city councilor convicted of taking a $1,000 bribe will begin serving his three year sentence in the coming […]

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