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Boston City Council Expels Chuck Turner

The Boston City Council voted 11-1 on Wednesday to expel Councilor Chuck Turner following his conviction on federal corruption charges.

Chuck Turner (WBUR)
Chuck Turner (WBUR)

It's the first time in the 100-year history of the modern Boston City Council that a member has been ousted.

Speaking after the council's decision, Turner vowed that voters would judge his colleagues in the next election — just as they judged him, he said.

City councilors who voted to expel Turner say they had to defend the integrity of the council by removing a convicted felon.

Councilor Felix Arroyo, who previously worked for Turner, and Councilor Ayanna Pressley delivered emotional speeches before saying they would vote "yes" to expel, with heavy hearts.

Turner supporters packed the chambers. They booed the council and called out "Traitor!" to Arroyo and Pressley.

Turner was convicted by a federal jury on Oct. 29 of taking a $1,000 bribe from a businessman and then lying about it to FBI agents. He has maintained his innocence and had asked his colleagues to delay voting on his expulsion until after his sentencing on Jan. 25.

Turner has represented a district including parts of the Roxbury, Dorchester, South End and Fenway neighborhoods since 2000.

The lone council member voting "no" was Charles Yancey, a Turner supporter. Turner abstained.

Turner will be sentenced Jan. 25, 2011. He could face prison time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on December 1, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

David Boeri Twitter Senior Reporter
Now retired, David Boeri was a senior reporter at WBUR.

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