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Green Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner: ‘Why I Won’t Resign’

After being convicted in an extortion case, which Turner claims was a persecution rather than a prosecution, Boston’s Green City Councillor penned the following piece:

Reporters keep asking me why I won’t resign since I have been convicted of the crime of extortion of $1000 and three crimes of lying to FBI officials. I appreciate the Fenway News giving me the space to explain in detail why I think it would be absurd for me to resign from the City Council.

The first reason is that my constituents elected me last year, after I was indicted, with a larger plurality in my district than the Mayor received in the City and despite my conviction they have continued to support me. While the Boston Globe and Mayor Menino have tried to coax people in my community to stand up and speak out against me, they find themselves virtually standing alone.

The second reason that I would never resign is that I was found guilty of a crime that was planned by US Attorney Sullivan and executed by his paid agent, Ron Wilburn.  Even though Sullivan tried to convince the public that there was a conspiracy between the Senator and me. At the trial, it became clear that the conspiracy was between Sullivan and Wilburn as they conspired to take me down.

Some may ask ”Why”. That is, what was Sullivan’s purpose in using Wilburn to create the picture that I was a corrupt elected official? He knew there has never been even the hint of me being corrupt during my 33 years of activism and 11 years on the Council.  Obviously, he did it because he and others wanted to silence me in my advocacy for the working class and poor of Boston.

At a time when the rich are getting richer in Boston and the working class and poor of all races are getting poorer, it is dangerous to have some one like me with my skills and experience urging people to stand up and fight back. Any doubt that Sullivan’s objective was to silence me was wiped away on January 5, 2008.

On that date, Sullivan’s protégé, McNeil, requested from the court and eventually received a gag order that said that if I accepted the evidence the feds had against me I had to stop talking about the case. Because of the order which I refused to sign while running for reelection, my lawyers didn’t receive any of the evidence until a year after I was arrested. Since I know that the governmental attack on me was not about justice but about attempting to take me down, why would I cooperate by resigning,

The third reason, I would not resign is that I am innocent and the fourth reason is that I believe the jury’s  acceptance of the picture set up by the US Attorney can not eliminate the fact that during my eleven years on the Council I have been a pillar of moral and political integrity. I’m the only Council who finances from his salary and donations an office in his district that is open a minimum of 40 hours a week. Records at the Office of Campaign Political Finance will show at the end of the year that my wife, Terri, and I have loaned my campaign, $180,000 to maintain the district office.

In addition, Felix D. Arroyo and I were the only Councilors to vote against a pay raise in 2006.  In 2008, after failing to persuade the Council to investigate Arthur Winn’s machinations with the Columbus Center project, I voted against the project. This year, I was the only Councilor to vote against giving bond money to Liberty Mutual. I thought that it was absurd for us to help a corporation build a building in Boston when it had made a profit of 31 billion dollars ($31,000,000,000) the year before. I also was the only Councilor to vote against paying Boston Fire Department employees for taking drug tests when the Administration was about to lay off hundreds of low paid City workers in libraries and schools.

The fifth reason is that by not resigning I am forcing the public to continue to look at the corruption perpetrated in this case by former US Attorney Sullivan. It is amazing to me how quickly the public forgets.  Remember the fact that Bush’s Attorney General Gonzalez, after Ashcroft, had to resign because of his involvement in the firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys  because they wouldn’t use their legal power to attack political enemies. Sullivan wasn’t fired; in fact he received a promotion.

After the dust cleared, Sullivan was appointed to be director of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms unit, in addition to being the US Attorney. I also find it very interesting that former Atty General John “Patriot Act” Ashcroft, opened an office of his national law/lobbying firm in Boston with Sullivan as its operating partner.

People seem also to have forgotten that in January of last year, Sullivan was told by the Chief Justice Mark Wolfe of the Massachusetts Federal Court that he was tired of Sullivan’s protégés lying in his court, causing cases to be thrown out based on the defendants not receiving fair prosecution. In fact, he demanded an affidavit from Sullivan explaining why he shouldn’t censure him.

Have people forgotten that Wilburn’s partner received through Sullivan’s largess seven years probation for selling 200 grams of cocaine while the person who bought it from him was given ten years in prison. Interestingly, Wilburn signed his contract with feds four months after his partner received probation.

Fifty five years ago, Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 refused to give up her seat in the front of the bus rather than submit to the tyranny of the discrimination of the South.  Fifty five years later on December 1, 2010, I am refusing to give up my seat on the Council rather than submit to the prosecutorial tyranny of former US Attorney Sullivan.

Boston District 7 City Councilor Chuck Turner

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