Dispatch From A Chuck-Free City Hall


Walking around Government Center this morning you would hardly know that the City Council’s premier fraud got locked up here a few hours ago. Maybe because it’s less of a surprise than when Lance Bass fled the closet.

There are no wild packs of notebook wielding reporters. Nor are Chuck Turner’s constituents storming the entrances outraged that their guy allegedly palmed payoffs like their former state senator.

Other than the councilors, who shut down and tuned out completely while promising a statement before 1pm, it’s business as usual around here. There’s even a charity bake sale in the lobby. “We can use the proceeds for his bail,” a volunteer jokes. She’s one of the few who speaks up; most people serve me with a “no comment” as I approach them with my pen drawn.

NECN got some face time with the Mayor down at Fenway, but other than that I don’t think anyone is talking. Still, sometimes politicos and aides don’t need to speak to send a message.   

Outside the council office I ask the few people who walk by what Chuck was doing inside City Hall at 7am. The man is a legendary late riser, and from what I understand he generally spends Fridays at his district office.  

“Where do you guys keep the shredder around here?” I ask. “I want to check it for Chuck’s fingerprints.” Not surprisingly, just about everyone chuckles, then puts their head down and speeds past.

In an attempt to confirm my hunch about Chuck’s waking habits, I ask some security officers if they ever see him at City Hall that early. “Nope,” one guard says. Another one agrees: “I know I’ve never seen him here at that time.”

While this would humiliate most people, there should be little doubt that Chuck believes he did no wrong. We’ll have to see what happens though; for now the only thing we can be sure of is that tomorrow’s page one Herald headline will read “Chucked.”

As Turner faces the U.S. District Court judge magistrate in Worcester this afternoon, I’ll head to his home turf in Roxbury to chat with community members. No doubt it should be beyond entertaining to see how this unfolds from the courtroom to the corner. Personally, I’m looking forward to some pics of Chuck shoving cash in his underwear.

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