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Chuck Turner to fight expulsion from council

Chuck Turner to fight expulsion from council
By Dave Wedge  |   Monday, November 29, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Politics

Photo by Faith Ninivaggi

Boston City Council President Michael Ross is pushing to expel embattled Councilor Chuck Turner for his recent federal bribery rap, drawing a stern rebuke from the stubborn Roxbury lawmaker who says his conviction was part of a government conspiracy to silence him.

“Why would they go after a 67-year-old man, except to shut my mouth?” Turner told the Herald today. “This is all about the U.S. government trying to silence a black man who stood up for 44 years and spoke truth to power. And now the council is being asked to go along with the plot to silence me. I’ve been a pillar of moral and fiscal integrity.”

Ross today filed an order calling for Turner to “vacate” his office by Dec. 3. The measure will be the subject of a hearing Wednesday.

“We are not above the law and none of us is above the rules,” Ross wrote in a three-page letter explaining his decision. “If we act as if we are, this body loses its credibility, it’s integrity and the trust of the people we serve. Many are cynical of government as it is (and) we cannot add to their mistrust.”

Ross’ order, which will be voted on by the full council, comes a week after Mayor Thomas M. Menino publicly called for Turner to step down. Turner was convicted last month of taking a $1,000 payoff and lying to federal agents.

Turner has refused calls to resign and recently sent a letter to supporters seeking continued backing.

“I believe that anybody who looks at my record over the last 44 years in Boston … and during the last 11 years as a councilor, will have to admit there’s nothing in my history that would suggest that I would play for pay,” Turner said. “The issue of my moral and fiscal integrity, I don’t think can be questioned. Obviously the FBI set up a situation to remove me from office.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1299636

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