Chuck Turner seeks Supreme Court review of his conviction

Former Boston city councilor Chuck Turner is asking the US Supreme Court to review a federal appeals court’s decision that upheld his 2010 corruption conviction.

Turner filed a petition seeking a review earlier this month, and the US solicitor general’s office last week waived its right to respond to the request, accord­ing to the Supreme Court docket. A lawyer for Turner, Charles W. Rankin, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

A US District Court jury in Boston convicted Turner in ­October 2010 on charges of extor­tion and making false statements to FBI agents, after he was captured on a hidden camera in 2007 accepting a $1,000 payment from an under­cover informant working with the FBI.


Federal prosecutors said that Turner accepted the payment in exchange for assisting the ­informant, Ronald ­Wilburn, with trying to secure a liquor license. A Boston appeals court upheld the conviction.

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In their filing with the ­Supreme Court, Turner’s lawyers reiterated that he filed an order for a City Council hearing on issues relevant to Wilburn’s bid for a license before the two had ever met.

“If the jury found that ­Turner understood the payment as a reward for his filing of the hearing order, which Turner had done without any expectation of Wilburn’s payment, then they should have acquit­ted him of extortion ­because Turner did not do or promise a thing in consideration of the payment,” the lawyers wrote. “Yet the [jury] instruc­tions, as delivered, called for a conviction on those facts.”

The Supreme Court docket does not indicate when the court will rule on whether it will take up Turner’s case.

Turner, 72, received a three-year prison sentence in January of 2011 and is scheduled to be released from a West Virginia prison in November 2013, accord­ing to the Federal ­Bureau of Prisons website.


In an entry posted last week on his website, Turner wrote of joining a protest inside his minimum security work camp.

“The case manager who handles ‘early reentry’ [programing for inmates] as mandated by [federal law] was so lax in his efforts that we staged a one meal ‘hunger strike’ to ­focus the attention of the admin­istration,” Turner wrote. “Fortunately, it seems to have worked without any of the leaders being sent to solitary, as some feared.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@TAGlobe.