[act-ma] 11/24 - Stand With Chuck Turner (Boston)

Patrick Keaney pkeaney at netway.com
Sat Nov 22 06:50:19 PST 2008

Press Conference and Open Council Meeting on Chuck Turner

Monday, Nov 24
Boston City Hall, 5th Floor

The City Council is holding an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss
Councilor Turner's situation.  Friends and supporters should flood
City Hall in recognition of Chuck's dedicated service towards the
uplift of his community.  If Chuck has supported you or your
organization, please help demonstrate your appreciation this Monday.

Turner will hold a press conference for his supporters, and will
denounce the maneuver led by Council President Feeney to revoke his
Chairmanships of the Education and Human Rights Committees.

Anyone interested in contacting Feeney about her extrajudicial revocation of Turner's chairmanships or her role in shutting down Turner's city hall office on Friday is encouraged to phone, fax, and e-mail her starting promptly at 9 a.m. on Monday:

Maureen E. Feeney, Council President
(617) 635-3455
FAX (617) 635-4203
Maureen.Feeney at cityofboston.gov 

Turner's next court case is scheduled on December 10th at Federal
Court in Boston.

Contact Lorraine Fowlkes 617 635 3510 (downtown) or Angela Yarde 617
427 8100 (district) for more information.

Related articles:

1) Globe article on Turner Case
2) Excepts from Turner's Public Statements - Open Media Boston

1) By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff

WORCESTER -- Surrounded by supporters and a crush of media as he left
the federal courthouse in Worcester today, City Councilor Chuck Turner
proclaimed his innocence and vowed to return to work Monday.

"I am absolutely positive that a jury of my peers will come to the
conclusion that I am innocent. ... I know I am innocent," Turner said.

Turner said the City Council plans to hold a meeting Monday to
determine whether he can continue to serve. But the council has "no
voice in the matter of whether I serve," he said.

"The only people who can make the decision whether I serve is my
constituents," he said, noting that he was reelected with 82 percent
of the vote. "I believe my district is firmly committed to having me
serve as their city councilor."

"This is supposed to be a democracy," he said. "I am not going to let
this abuse of power continue."

About 30 supporters gathered around him, at one point chanting,
"Chuck! Chuck! Chuck!" Some carried various signs, including some that
read, "We Stand by Turner."

Turner said he had been told today that the FBI had asked the council
to turn off his computer and telephone.

Justin Holmes, chief of staff to Council President Maureen Feeney said
no one in Feeney's office or the central staff's office was told to
block access to Turner's phones or computer.

"The council took no action to prohibit Councilor Turner or his staff
from accessing his office today," Holmes said.

'Mr. Turner is not guilty of what he has been charged with," said
Turner's attorney, Barry Wilson. "I don't think Mr. Turner is guilty
of anything."

Asked about photos released by the government that allegedly show
Turner accepting a cash payment, Wilson said, "I've seen some grainy
photos. I don't know what they show."

"I think somebody doesn't like Chuck Turner," he said.

Turner headed to a nearby parking garage. Before he got in his
daughter's sport utility vehicle, he vowed, "I am going to be back at
work Monday."

2) Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner's post-arraignment statement Worcester
Transcribed from the uncut WCVB-TV Channel 5 video by Freeman Z

Source Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMR_8Dy9lTc

Chuck Turner:

"I have said many times over the last few years, that I do not agree
with the process of trying people in the media. And because of that
belief, ah, I am not going to comment in my statement on my case,
except to say that I am absolutely positive that a jury of my peers
will come to the conclusion that I am innocent. The reason why I
believe that will be their conclusion is that I know I am innocent.

"However, there is a very important issue that I am going to be
focusing on right now. (interruption: 'Move away from the door!' Press
conference moves a few feet.)

"My concern at this moment is not with the case that I'm involved in.
My concern is that it has been reported to me that while I have been
down here in Worcester, the F.B.I. asked the City Council President to
turn off my computers and to turn off my telephone.

"It also has been reported to me that the City Council plans to have a
meeting at three o'clock on Monday in the council chambers to
determine whether I can continue to serve.

"My view is that the city council has no voice in the matter of
whether I serve. The only people ...the only people who can make the
decision whether I serve my constituents ...are my constituents.

"I was elected by a vote of eighty two percent, and I think that
suggests that my district firmly is committed to having me serve them
as a City Councilor.

"As your (crowd: cheers, applause) ... as, as, (crowd: Chuck, Chuck
Chuck...) (Turner silences crowd.)

"You know, as your ...as your stories will confirm, and I hope you
include it in your stories, the F.B.I did not arrest me at my house
when they came to my house at six o'clock in the morning, they
arrested me at City Hall at six thirty.

"The reason why they didn't arrest me at six o'clock was I had left my
house at five thirty to come to work.

"My constituents understand that I am a seven day a week City
Councilor. That I begin my day at six o'clock and I end my day at ten
o'clock at night. That's why they have elected me to the last five
terms. I have a responsibility to serve my constituents and I am not
going to let the City Council stand in the way of that responsibility.

"If Councilor Feeney ... Council President Feeney, does not turn on my
phone, Monday morning, when I come to work, and turn my computer back
on, then we will go to court and challenge their right to deprive my
district, a district of majority Black and Latino constituents, of the
representative that they had chosen.

"This is supposed to be a democracy. How could the Boston City Council
even consider ... even consider, taking away from my constituents ...
and their constituents, the leadership that they want.

"I think that is horrendous for them even to think that. I think that
is horrendous for City Council President Feeney to turn off my
telephones and computers so that my staff could not do the work that
they have been hired to do.

"I am not gonna let this ...I am not gonna let this abuse of power
continue. And I will be in court, challenging the City Council if they
don't respect my constituents."

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