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Former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner Dies

In this 2008 file photo, former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner shouts after a news conference at Boston City Hall plaza. (AP)
In this 2008 file photo, former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner shouts after a news conference at Boston City Hall plaza. (AP)
This article is more than 1 year old.

Chuck Turner, a longtime community activist and Boston city councilor who served prison time for a bribery scandal, has died. He was 79.

Turner served on the City Council for five terms after he was elected in 1999. He focused on racial equality and fought against gentrification and displacement both as an activist and later as an elected official.

Councilor Kim Janey confirmed Turner's death Wednesday.

"He has 50-plus years of organizing for this city," Janey told The Boston Globe. "Transformational changes have been made because of Chuck Turner. Lives have been changed because of Chuck Turner."

Turner represented District 7, which includes Roxbury, Lower Roxbury and parts of Fenway, the South End and Dorchester.

Tito Jackson, who succeeded Turner in the District 7 seat, called him "the lion of organizing and fighting for the people, for equity, for justice."

"He spent hours with me transitioning over issues in our district and preparing my team to take over," Jackson said. "The character of Chuck and how legendary he is in his leadership - we will always miss him for the work that he did, the battles that he fought, and his integrity, and the love that he had for the people in his community."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called Turner "a staunch advocate for the people of Boston, who over the course of his lifetime helped bring about so much good for our city."

Turner became the first Boston city councilor ever removed from office after he was found guilty in 2010 of taking a $1,000 bribe and later lying to federal agents about accepting the money. He served 28 months in federal prison.

He received a $106,000 settlement from the city in 2013 after a court ruled the council overstepped by ousting Turner before he was sentenced to prison.

This article was originally published on December 26, 2019.

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