Published January 21, 2011
Prosecutors want former City Councilor Chuck Turner to spend three-and-a-half years in prison. Not just because he was convicted of taking a $1,000 bribe, they say, but because he made a mockery of the system.
“Turner’s conduct has been the [antithesis] of acceptance of responsibility,” say the sentencing guidelines, filed Thursday in federal court.
“Turner’s calculated and persistent attacks on local and federal law enforcement agencies, designed to deflect attention from his own corrupt conduct, have been corrosive to respect for important public institutions and the rule of law.”
The recommended sentence — up to 41 months — is essentially the same as that doled out to ex-state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who pleaded guilty to taking at least $23,500 in bribes in the same case. Wilkerson got 42 months earlier this month.
Turner pleaded not guilty and fought the government, waging a public campaign he likened to the civil-rights struggle.
Prosecutors say they recommend a relatively stiff sentence because Turner perjured himself when he took the stand in his own defense.
Turner was convicted on four counts in October 2010. He faces a theoretical maximum sentence of 35 years at sentencing next week.