Election For Turner's Seat Will Continue

By Jess Bidgood


Feb. 7, 2011

BOSTON — A federal judge has ruled that Chuck Turner will not be able to stop the special election to fill his now-empty seat on the City Council.

Chuck Turner spoke at a demonstration against home eviction in cases related to sub-prime lending in January 2008. (Jonathan McIntosh/Flickr)
Turner served as Boston's 7th District City Councilor for over ten years, until he was voted off the council by his colleagues after his conviction on federal corruption charges last fall.

Turner had tried to stop the election, saying his rights were violated when the City Council removed him from office. But U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled against Turner.

Since Turner has been sentenced to serve three years of prison time, he is ineligible for his seat due to state law — so Wolf said the suit is now a moot point. Still, Wolf said he wants the state's Supreme Judicial Court to review whether Turner was unfairly removed from the City Council.

City Councilor Mike Ross, who was president of the council when it made the unprecedented decision to unseat Turner, said the ruling will help move the council back to business-as-usual.

"It has been my goal all along to allow the voters of District 7 to replace their leadership as soon as possible,” Ross said during WGBH's Emily Rooney Show. “The largest issue is settled, which is that there will be a new city councilor on March 15 from District 7.”

Ross said Turner has continued to stay involved in his district, even though he is no longer its councilor, occasionally contacting councilors via email. And Ross thinks Turner will continue to stay involved.

"This guy is a hard-working person who’s represented his district vigorously, aggressively, and he’ll stay involved. I anticipate that he’ll stay involved once he’s completing his sentence and before and after. That’s who Chuck Turner is,” Ross said.

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