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Expelled councilor sentenced for bribe

Just moments after a federal judge sentenced him to prison for three years, former City Councilor Chuck Turner yet again declared his innocence while flanked by dozens of supporters.

Just moments after a federal judge sentenced him to prison for three years, former City Councilor Chuck Turner yet again declared his innocence while flanked by dozens of supporters.

“What happened today was ... a miscarriage of justice,” the 70-year-old from Roxbury said.

During the sentencing, Judge Douglas Woodlock said he believed Turner committed perjury and lied when he took the witness stand during his corruption and bribery trial last year.

“The testimony was ludicrous. It was designed, not very successfully, to obstruct justice,” he said.

Turner, a longtime community organizer and decadelong city councilor, has consistently said he was set up by federal authorities who targeted black politicians during the investigation. Former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson was sentenced to more than three years in prison earlier this month for also taking bribes.

Turner’s outspokenness during his trial hit a nerve for some officials.

Boston’s U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said after yesterday’s sentencing that she was personally offended when Turner compared himself to civil rights activist Rosa Parks. She and other attorneys said race had nothing to do with Turner’s prosecution.

“Mr. Turner’s claims were simply untrue and outrageous,” Oritz said as Turner supporters heckled her and shouted, “lies.”

Ready to serve his time?

When asked by a reporter if he was mentally prepared to go to jail for three years, former City Councilor Chuck Turner laughed.

He said he was seeking to request that if he were to die in prison that an autopsy be conducted, implying that he would be harmed while behind bars.

Turner’s attorney indicated there will be an appeal and asked Judge Douglas Woodlock for a stay of execution pending the outcome of the appeal. Woodlock will wait to hear the response from the U.S. attorney’s office.

 
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