BOSTON (AP) - The state's highest court has ruled that the Boston City Council overstepped its authority when it removed former Councilor Chuck Turner from office before he was sentenced to prison on corruption charges.
The Supreme Judicial Court on Friday said state law does not give municipal bodies the power to expel elected officials prior to sentencing.
The council voted in December 2010 to remove Turner, who had been convicted weeks earlier of taking a $1,000 bribe from a businessman seeking a liquor license from the city, then lying about it to FBI agents.
Turner was later sentenced to three years in federal prison, which under state law would trigger his automatic removal.
The justices said Turner might now be eligible for back pay for the period between his expulsion and sentencing.