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Victory in Legal Challenge to Removal from Boston City Council

Reflections from Behind the Wall

Date: June 16, 2012

Dear Supporters,

Chuck TurnerThe Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) yesterday announced that the Boston City Council did Not have the legal right to remove me as a Boston City Councilor. They will now send their decision to Judge Mark Wolf, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Federal Bench to make the final ruling. Judge Wolf, when he accepted the case in December 2010, asked the SJC to given him their opinion on the legal issues involved in the case since those issues were rooted in Massachusetts' election law.

My attorney, Chester Darling, plans to ask for a hearing to put before Judge Wolf our views on how to resolve the details of my unjust removal. Under Massachusetts' law the fact that I was sentenced to prison on January 25, 2011 automatically removed me from my Council position. However, we believe that at the very least I am entitled to the income that I would have received between my removal and the sentencing as well as fees for my attorney's services. I will keep you informed as the process moves forward.

I have not had any news on my appeal of my conviction. My attorney, Charles Rankin, as well as supporters at the hearing said that they thought the hearing went very well. Attorney Rankin said that he thinks I have a "shot" at winning. It is unclear when I will hear the result. Four months elapsed between the oral arguments before the SJC and their announcement yesterday. The oral arguments on the appeal took place on May 9th.

I would like publicly to thank the following people who played crucial roles in bringing about this victory. First, I'd like to thank Councilor Charles Yancey for his steadfast support throughout this three and a half year ordeal and particularly for his eloquent statement my expulsion hearing that the Council had no legal right under Massachusetts law to remove me. Second, I would like to thank Paul Walkowski, former chief of staff for deceased Boston City Councilor James "Jimmy" Kelly whose concern about the injustice prompted him to call Attorney Darling to urge him to consider getting involved.

Third, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Attorney Darling who volunteered, despite the fact that he is retired and in his 80s, to challenge without charge my removal by the Council. Finally, words cannot express my gratitude to my wife, Terri, who after having given me unwavering support during my two year challenge of my unjust indictment and prosecution was steadfast in her support of my refusal to resign from the Council since, despite the conviction, I was not guilty.

Finally, let me thank all of you who, despite the attempt by the US Attorney, the media, and others, to brand me as a corrupt elected official have been unwavering in your support and denial of the accusations and slander. Terri and I realize that there is no way that we can repay you for your kindness and the multiple ways in which you have shown your support. Your loyalty, friendship, and support will always be remembered.

Peace and Love,


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