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.”