Published October 29, 2010
A federal jury on Friday convicted Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner of accepting a $1,000 bribe and lying to the authorities.
- 1 count of attempted extortion under the color of official act: Guilty
- 3 counts of making false statements to the FBI: Guilty
The jury delivered the verdicts on Day 2 of deliberations. Turner’s lawyer said he will appeal.
Prosecutors said Turner accepted a wad of cash from informant Ron Wilburn in August 2007 and then lied to FBI agents about having met Wilburn.
A secret video of the alleged bribe — the government’s key piece of evidence — showed something changing hands between Turner and the informant.
WBUR’s David Boeri, reporting from federal court, says Turner nodded his head slightly as the verdicts were delivered. Turner’s lawyer, Barry Wilson, put his forehead on the desk.
During his trial, Turner took the witness stand to defend himself, insisting that he did not take the bribe from Wilburn, who was seeking help in getting a liquor license from the city and was cooperating with the FBI.
Turner faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for extortion and an additional five years for each perjury count. He remains free until sentencing Jan. 25, 2011.
Turner has represented the 7th District, which covers Roxbury, Fenway and the South End, for six terms.
“Today is a very sad and unfortunate day for the city of Boston,” said Mayor Thomas Menino in a statement. “I remain shocked at the actions Councilor Turner has been found guilty of today and will continue to work hard promoting a spirit of public trust and confidence in our elected officials and government agencies.”