The Federal Bureau of Investigation pays a black man (Ronald Wilburn) $30,000 to offer a bribe of $1,000 to a black Boston City Councilor (Chuck Turner). What’s wrong with this picture?
US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz does not think anything is wrong with this picture. After Chuck Turner’s October 29 conviction in his federal corruption trial, she called a press conference, at which The Boston Globe reported her as saying that “Turner faces his predicament because he had ‘made choices of his own free will.’” She is then quoted as stating, “He’s a public official who betrayed the people he was elected to serve,” and adding, “What people lose sight of is the fact that public corruption erodes the confidence that the public has in the system.” (The Boston Globe, Sept. 30, 2010)
Ironically, most black people Boston City Councilor Church Turner “was selected to serve” believe the federal justice system has betrayed them, not their six-term City Councilor. An accompanying Boston Globe story reported that “it was hard to find anyone there [in Roxbury] who agreed with the jury’s verdict.” A number of black community leaders strongly supported Turner, including Eastern Massachusetts Urban League’s president and chief executive officer Darnell L. Williams, who “describ[ed] Turner as ‘a tremendous fighter for the voiceless in this community.’” Similarly quoted is “Jeanne Piando—executive director of the Madison Park Development Corporation, an affordable housing advocacy group,” who “said Turner was a strong supporter of the group’s mission.” She also said, “’I think he was generally right on the issues, and was a great advocate for Roxbury.’”