For the first time in 100 years, Boston city councilors have expelled one of their own colleagues:
The Boston City Council has expelled Councilor Chuck Turner following his conviction on federal corruption charges. The council voted 11-1 on Wednesday to remove the 70-year-old Turner from office.
Councilor Charles Yancey, a Turner supporter, was the only member to vote against expulsion, after stamping his feet on procedural grounds and trying to delay or postpone the hearing.
Councilor and Turner protégé Felix Arroyo and Councilor Ayanna Pressley delivered emotional speeches before saying they would vote “yes,” with heavy hearts.
WBUR’s David Boeri, reporting from council chambers, said Turner supporters booed and called out “Traitor!” to Arroyo and Pressley.
Turner represented the heart of Boston’s African-American community and has accused the FBI and federal prosecutors of targeting him because he is black.
“The reality is that the conviction that is being used as the reason for my removal … was a setup,” he told fellow councilors in a speech before the vote. “That conviction was rotten.”
After the vote, he called the council’s decision “a grievous error.”
Turner has to get out of his office by Friday.