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Wilburn: I bribed Wilkerson, Hub cops before becoming FBI informant

Wilburn: I bribed Wilkerson, Hub cops before becoming FBI informant
By Marie Szaniszlo  |   Friday, October 22, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Politics

Photo by Mark Garfinkel
The prosecution’s star witness in the federal corruption trial of City Councilor Chuck Turner fought with the feds today and said he paid off Boston cops and state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson before he became a cooperating witness for the FBI.

Under cross-examination, Ron Wilburn said he gave Wilkerson bribes totaling about $6,000 in 2003 or 2004.

The retired businessman also said he paid off police working a detail at Mirage, a Roxbury nightclub his protege owned, during the 2004 World Series.

Boston Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said today police are already on the case.

“The Boston Police Department in conjunction with the US Attorney’s office and the FBI have been conducting an investigation into these allegations prior to today’s testimony. This is an open investigation and therefore I am unable to comment further,” she told the Herald.

“There were so many things paid, it’s hard to keep track,” Wilburn said.

Turner’s defense lawyer, Barry Wilson, pointed out inconsistencies in statements Wilburn made, including ones about Wilburn’s income. And Wilburn acknowledged at least two of his associates were incarcerated.

It was a feisty Friday inside U.S. District Court in Boston.

At one point, a juror also interrupted the trial to tell U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock that Wilburn’s court-appointed lawyer appeared to be signaling him in the courtroom.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. McNeil showed jurors a copy of the agreement Wilburn had signed with the FBI. The document refers to him only as “CW,” for “cooperating witness.” Under cross-examination, Wilburn acknowledged that he was the one who had revealed his identity by telling a newspaper columnist.

“Did the FBI direct you to talk about this case?” McNeil asked.

“No,” Wilburn answered.

Earlier this week, FBI special agents testified the bureau paid Wilburn a total of almost $30,000 to offer bribes to Wilkerson and Turner in exchange for the lawmakers’ help in obtaining a liquor license.

But having his identity become public was a blunder Wilburn today said he paid for.

“I was in arrears $6,000 in rent,” Wilburn told McNeil. “You hung me out to dry … You exposed me in the newspaper as a cooperating witness. …You provided a photo of my hand (offering an alleged bribe). …You gave me up. …You cut off my income. I did all the dirty work for you, and you cut me off.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1290750

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