Prosecutors recommending range of 33 to 41 months in jail for Turner
Federal prosecutors are recommending that a judge hand down a prison sentence of 33 to 41 months for former City Councillor Chuck Turner.
Turner was convicted by a jury of taking a $1,000 bribe and lying to federal agents about it. He has steadfastly maintained his innocence and is suing the City Council for jettisoning him from his District 7 seat.
"Turner’s conduct has been the [antithesis] of acceptance of responsibility," prosecutors wrote in a scathing sentencing memo filed on Thursday. "Instead, his conduct has affirmatively promoted disrespect for the law, has demeaned the seriousness of his offense, has debased his public office, and has eroded the public’s trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Turner’s calculated and persistent attacks on local and federal law enforcement agencies, designed to deflect attention from his own corrupt conduct, have been corrosive to respect for important public institutions and the rule of law."
John McNeil and James Dowden, assistant U.S. attorneys, wrote that for first time felons, a departure or deviation from the sentencing guidelines is sometimes warranted for those who accept responsibility for their crime. Turner has not done that, they wrote, and instead has engaged in a campaign against the judicial system which was "ultimately an act of profound narcissism."
"He has sought to undermine the integrity of the judicial process," they wrote, adding that he also perjured himself while on the witness stand during his trial. "As a result, Turner is uniquely undeserving of a downward departure or deviation [from the guidelines]."
Prosecutors are also recommending 36 months of supervised release on top of the incarceration time.
They also questioned his effectiveness as a city councillor, citing a taped conversation between former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and FBI informant Ron Wilburn, in which both of them called Turner "crazy."
Turner's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in Courtroom 1 at the Moakley Courthouse.
The judge in the case is Douglas Woodlock, who also oversaw former Sen. Wilkerson's sentencing. She was sentenced to 3.5 years in jail, a move she is appealing.
The sentencing memo is available for download here.
UPDATE: Edits were made to post to fix minor grammatical errors. 1/21/2011