Gotta hand it to Chuck Turner

Turner allegedly taking bribe

FBI photo allegedly showing City Councilor Chuck Turner taking a $1,000 bribe.

Read the FBI affidavit in the case against Chuck Turner.

According to the affidavit, which is almost as much about Dianne Wilkerson as Chuck Turner (and is written by the same FBI agent handling her case), Turner initially did very little to help Wilkerson and "the CW" - a.k.a. businessman turned FBI informant Ron Wilburn - get a liquor license for Wilburn's proposed Dejavu club in the Crosstown center. But after some conversations with Wilkerson, the affidavit states, Turner began working actively to get a license for the club. And then Wilburn visited Turner in Turner's office on Aug. 3, 2007 for a chat - that the FBI recorded:

The CW said to Turner that he had told Wilkerson that he intended to stop by and show his gratitude to Turner. The CW also told Turner that he intended to show his gratitude again after the planned city council hearing. The CW then handed Turner $1,000 in cash and said, "you take the wife to dinner and ... have some fun." Turner accepted the money, while smiling and nodding his head, and responded, "okay." The CW also said, "I just want you to know that ... you take care of me, I take care of you.

The affidavit said the case consisted of five $100 bills and ten $50 bills, all marked.

On Sept. 12, 2007, the affidavit states, CW visited Turner at his City Hall office:

Just prior to his meeting with Turner, one of Turner's assistants asked the CW his name. The assistant then said: "I'm gonna ask you one question ... Is it money?" When the CW falsely responded "no," the assistant explained that money could not be provided in City Hall.

The assistant then took the CW to the lobby outside the City Council chambers. When Turner came out, the CW couldn't give Turner cash because the aide was standing right there, so instead Turner asked the aide to take down the CW's number so they could have lunch.

Nothing further came of that, but on Oct. 28 - the day Wilkerson was arrested - FBI agents showed up at Turner's office to interview him about his role in the Dejavu license affair:

When asked by agents, Turner repeatedly denied ever being offered money by the CW and denied accepting any money from the CW. Near the end of the interview, Turner reiterated, "no one offered me any money." Turner said that while he never accepted any money from the CW, he noted the pervasiveness of corruption among politicians. "If you took out all corrupt politicians, you'd take out 90% and be left with us 10%."

Innocent, etc.

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Good thing he's a stuffed shirt

Turner repeatedly denied ever being offered money by the CW and denied accepting any money from the CW.

... because his pants are on fire!

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I think it's Ron

Wilburn.

Anyway, the arrogance of Turner is shocking. Wouldn't he have been better off stepping forward when DW was busted?

If you're Turner, and you see surveillance photos of her in the papers & online taking cash, don't you say to yourself: "hmm, I did that very same thing, so I bet they have pictures of me doing it as well"?

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Typo fixed

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Thanks for your turn on the UH copy desk :-).

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'Why the hell are the feds investigating this stuff?'

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Burkeman1 wonders:

... What possible jurisdiction do they have? How did this get started? Where are our local cops? The Commonwealth pays for a rather large and well funded State Police undercover task force that is more than capable of handling such things- if they indeed need to be handled at all- which should be the decision of our local government entities!

Why is this alien foreign bureau whose primary allegiance lies outside this state being allowed to simply run investigations against our elected local officials?

Turner is playing the race card in his defense already (He is black.) Bad move Turner. That will get you exactly nowhere and will alienate potential allies. He should be playing up the local vs federal angle.

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asinine...and a moron to boot

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if they indeed need to be handled at all

Wait, what?

What possible jurisdiction do they have?

Uh...because bribery is a federal crime, that's why?

Why is this alien foreign bureau whose primary allegiance lies outside this state being allowed to simply run investigations against our elected local officials?

Because it's a (DRUMROLL) federal crime!

God, what an asshat.

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Amazing, isn't it

Somehow, MA towns and cities aren't part of the state when they don't feel like it, aren't responsible for contributing to regional problems or solutions when their elected officials rarely stray beyond boundaries, and neither cities and towns nor states have anything at all to do with the federal government and federal laws!

Classic towniethink. Just. Classic. The governments are separate, not nested and heirarchical with well defined precidence. Ooooookaaayyy. I'll have to pull out my Boston passport so I can travel to Chicago, eh? More like somebody needs to go back and relearn or learn some pretty basic junior high civics.

Of course, all barriers collapse when it is time for local aid or federal funding. Geesh, how juvenile - give me the money, but don't tell me what to do!

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The original informant

The original informant dropped the dime to the feds. Good idea - the locals would probably bury it.

A quick look suggests that the blogger is... eccentric. If you get my drift.

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'A sad day'

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Jay Fitzgerald: All for a lousy $1,000:

Dianne Wilkerson got what she deserved. But I thought Chuck Turner was smarter and more decent than this. ...

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Wow, the blogosphere is full of morons today

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But I thought Chuck Turner was smarter and more decent than this.

You mean the guy who a)felt it was city council business to address torture by "our troops" in "Iraq", and showed video/still grabs from a porn movie?

Or the guy who pushed for an ordinance banning machetes thrice over?

Or the guy who said that you couldn't represent Wilkerson's district unless you were black, and that Chang-Diaz wasn't a minority?

Who else can come up with some good Chuckles?

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Yeah but its 1,000 a pop for

Yeah but its 1,000 a pop for a little bit of work. Im assuming that the feds did this for a reason, IE they tried to bust these pols because they had been doing this with other people.

Money adds up. After all a cop detail is "only" 40 dollars... for an hour. Then you add up all those hours and all those cops and you have some hefty bills to pay. Same thing with this, you add up the 1,000 dollar bribes and they could have been raking in some serious dough.

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Yeah

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I thought Chuck Turner was smarter and more decent than this. ...

It takes a stand-up genius to get the Globe to print his pal Sadiki's porn collection on page 2.

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If Chuck Turner resigns ...

would there be a special election, or would the Mayor and/or the other city council members appoint a replacement?

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Good question

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I believe Steve Murphy originally got on the council because he was the runner-up in a race and whoever won resigned for some reason (was it Dan Conley getting elected DA? The mind is a terrible thing to lose), so would that make Carlos Henriquez the new city councilor from that district, since he was the runner up in 2007?

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That was an at-large seat

which probably has different rules, given that it's a multi-member election. If someone won an election with 90% of the vote and then resigned, it would not be a good idea to seat his opponent who got 10% of the vote.

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District Council vacancies

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District Council vacancies are filled by special election. There have been a couple of these in the past few years, most recently in District 2 (South Boston, South End, Bay Village, Chinatown) I believe, following Jimmy Kelly's passing away.

At-Large vacancies are filled by the next highest vote getter in the previous Council election.

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"If you took out all corrupt

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"If you took out all corrupt politicians, you'd take out 90% and be left with us 10%."

Excellent; can you get us a printout of the 10%? There are ballot forms to prepare. :)

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Remember ...

A fish rots from the head ...

I'm only saying.

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If I were Chucky

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If I were Chuck Turner, I'd start my defense with a "how do you know that's me in the photo?" as my source for reasonable doubt. There's gotta be what? Twenty thousand guys in Boston alone with a beard just like that. Right?

Seriously, if you're going to act illegally, the least you can do is try to be as non-descript as possible when you do them.

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I think that handoff was

I think that handoff was pretty discrete. Allot more so then Diannes bra dive. If there wasnt a camera lodged in the other guys overcoat nobody would have been the wiser.

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Cameras everywhere

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All it takes is one picture of you doing something wrong to become the evidence a jury needs to convict. The best spies aren't the ones who wear tuxedos and act as if they are untouchable big-wigs ala old-school Bond. They're the ones that are wholly unassuming and blend in to the background. Chuck not only had a persona and ego that he liked to throw out in front of the cameras, but a look all his own as well.

Well, look, that's Chuck in front of that camera. If you're going to try to get away with crap like this and you have a unique appearance, you need a middle-man.

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Middle men require more

Middle men require more payoffs and to share the wealth. A middle man also requires either absolute loyalty or at the very least a mob base that could wipe the person out if needed. As corrupt as these guys seem to be they didnt have a mob base to take care of their problems for them.

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Political staff

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I bet most people probably couldn't pick Scooter Libby out of a line-up if they tried. But *he's* the one that went to prison (almost). Meanwhile, nearly anyone could probably pick Dick Cheney out pretty easily (with or without his shotgun pointed at you). Nobody even seriously considered hauling him away. Politicians have loyal staff and those guys know how to fall on their swords for their liege. They do it because they know that if their boss moves up then they move up with him or her for free. Disloyalty as a staff member who has knowledge of anything illicit is career suicide...or just plain suicide (just ask Vince Foster...kidding!).

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Yeah but at this level the

Yeah but at this level the only people willing to take the sword for you are dimwits you dont want carting around with your money. Anybody working for a City Councilor or State Senator who would willingly involve themselves in something like this is not someone youd want to have on your staff, the payoff is way too low. If were talking congressmen or higher then yeah I hear yah (or Governor ect.) Maybe , MAYBE if they happen to be the Speaker of the House or something I can see that as well.

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Green Party supports its councilor

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Green-Rainbow Party stands with Turner. Calls for broad investigation of influence-peddling:

... The widespread legalized corruption on Beacon Hill is well-documented. This system permits wealthy interests - from Big Dig contractors to health insurers -to obtain favors through campaign donations and lobbying. Those officials who have most consistently betrayed the public trust in this regard were not targeted by FBI sting operations to see which rules they might violate. Instead, the FBI has targeted members of the black community who have often been impediments to the plans of the well-connected special interests. This raises questions of whether discriminatory, politically-motivated influences are at work. Hence it is important that the planning and execution of the FBI initiatives be investigated. Furthermore, Councilor Turner's outspoken criticism of the federal government, including the FBI's own illegal, covert COINTELPRO program, raises additional questions about the FBI's motivations for this sting operation. ...

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executive session

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Maureen E. Feeney, President
Boston City Council

Pursuant to Rule 1 of the city council rules, there will be a special meeting of the Boston City Council on Monday, November 24, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. in the Christopher A. Iannella Chamber on the Fifth Floor of Boston City Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to consider entering into executive session to pursuant to MGL c39 s23B(1)

Sincerely
Maureen E. Feeney, President
Boston City Council

District 3
Boston City Hall
One City Hall Plaza
Boston Massachusetts 02201
617 635-3455
fax 617 635-4203
Maureen.Feeney at cityofboston.gov

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Pecvniate obedivnt omnia -

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Pecvniate obedivnt omnia - Money makes the world go round

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The scene at City Hall today

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Chris Farone reports:

... Outside the council office I ask the few people who walk by what Chuck was doing inside City Hall at 7am. The man is a legendary late riser, and from what I understand he generally spends Fridays at his district office.

"Where do you guys keep the shredder around here?" I ask. "I want to check it for Chuck's fingerprints." Not surprisingly, just about everyone chuckles, then puts their head down and speeds past. ...

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Weak case against Turner?

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Open Media Boston concludes the FBI doesn't have a good case against Turner, because it relies on a single witness (our friend, CW) and that:

The FBI case also relies heavily on their own interpretations of Turner's clandestinely video and audio-taped actions - actions which can certainly be read as legal behavior, and for which there is precedent in the previous actions of other more powerful politicians in Boston. And those politicians were not dragged out to the U.S. District Court in Worcester by U.S. Marshals on the rare occasions when such potential financial infractions came to light. Far from it.

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Well, the rumors were true

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I heard he was taking money for help on variances a couple of years ago.

Wow, lots of opportunity for a African American Roxbury reisdent with political aspirations: do you run for CC in 09, take on Chang-Diaz in '10, or both?

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NO Fair Trial WHATSOEVER!

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neither Chuck Turner nor Dianne Wilkerson will have a FAIR trial due to the video or the "so-called evidence" that has been plasted ALL over the media. I never heard of the public reading an affadavit of a case before a trial, during a trial or after a trial, what is really going on in Massachusetts Judicial System. Sounds like another J. Edgar Hoover conspiracy case...what jury will try them fairly the media has already convicted them!

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I hear that Felix Arroyo is next.

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I hear that former Councilor Felix Arroyo is next.

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