The government’s key witness finally took the witness stand in the corruption trial of City Councilor Chuck Turner on Thursday after claiming he may not testify and that he was no longer working with the government.
Ron Wilburn is the man who worked with the FBI and who prosecutors said handed Turner a $1,000 cash bribe during a meeting in the councilor’s Roxbury office in 2007.
“That’s me giving him the money,” said Wilburn, 71, when a prosecutor asked him to describe what was occurring in a secretly recorded video of the meeting played for the jury.
Earlier this week, a judge told prosecutors they could not slow down the recording that was made with a camera placed in Wilburn’s briefcase that captures the short instant of Turner taking the money out of Wilburn’s palm during a handshake. It was also originally ruled that a still image of that instant could not be shown, but prosecutors were able to do that Thursday.
The money was given to Turner in exchange for helping Wilburn obtain a liquor license for a Roxbury club that he and another man were trying to open, he said.
Turner’s attorney said Wilburn’s testimony was inconsistent.