Friday, December 31, 2010

Wrong Judge, Chuck

Alas (a term that seems increasingly applicable to Chuck Turner), the latest and perhaps last gambit finds Mark Wolf as referee. Steered by winger lawyer Chester Darling, Turner's pleas in federal court to return to Boston City Council goes before the eminently sensible and no jive Chief Judge Wolf of the U.S. District Court.

Having seen and heard Wolf in action repeatedly, I feel a twinge for the benighted Turner. No matter how thick the smoke nor how many mirrors he and his lawyer use, Wolf has a clear head and sharp vision.

The Chief Judge will rule on this petition (tip of the toupee to UniversalHub). Irony abounds therein.

At the very least, Turner is doing his damnedest to delay his replacement by special election following his ouster by the City Council early this month. He not only calls to be reinstated pending his January 25th sentencing in federal court on four felony counts related to corruption, but wants to halt the February preliminary and March final for a replacement. His suit charges that the District 7 voters were disenfranchised and denied their representative, being now the only residents who have to go to an at-large Councilor for help.

Amusingly enough, the bizarre state law that tosses an elected official, does so not on conviction but only when the official receives prison time. I'll guarantee Turner gets prison time this month and will be not only ousted, but most sincerely ousted, as the Munchkins might say.

Thus, in trying to gum up the works, to put chocks under the wheels of the juggernaut, Turner is doing his best to deny his former constituents a Councilor. I bet Wolf won't buy it. As he did in the Mad Dad case, this Chief Judge goes for logic and law over drama and whining.

Many of us have hoped that Turner would go out with some dignity and grace. We also had hoped that he would not testify or testi-lie at his own federal trial; there he insisted and could only pathetically repeat he had no recollection of the bribe he was convicted of receiving.

Instead, he should have been and continued to be an advocate for questioning his snaring and sting in this case. He was in an excellent position to rally officials as well as the public against likely racist and certainly unjust targeting of low-level elected reps without a history of corruption. Instead, he has chosen the egocentric theater for his performance.

Instead, we now think of Walt Whitman with O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done. The trip is indeed done, but the prize is not won. Rather, he is overboard and the ship sails on.


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