Feeney appoints 'fact-finder' on Turner council role

Council President Maureen Feeney appointed former Chief Magistrate Judge Charles B. Swartwood III this week as an independent fact finder to advise the council on whether District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner is fit to serve on the council.

"He began his work yesterday," said Feeney's chief of staff Justin Holmes. "It isn't to find guilt or innocence, it is a question of qualification."

Swartwood was found and hired through the city's Corporation Counsel, and will deliver his report to that office, which will then hand it over to a new Council President sometime in mid-February. Councillor Michael Ross is widely expected to be elected to that role.

Once the report is in hand, said Holmes, it will be the council's "right and responsibility" to take action upon it, including the possibility that Turner will be removed from the Council. Turner also gained a defender this week when former Attorney General Ramsey Clark held a press conference on the steps of the JFK Federal Building in Government Center denouncing U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan's case against Turner, according to supportchuckturner.com.