April 5, 1907



A new phase has arisen in the police row. Despite Governor Folk's known vexation over the retention of Captain Weber, based upon Mayor Beardsley's written opinion, which the governor has, it is predicted when the commissioners vote this week on the question of recommissioning the superiors, Commissioner Rozzelle will vote as he did on the day of the trial, to clear him. What Governor Folk will then do remains to be seen. The mayor's opinion, which was published in the Journal, said that the evidence showed that Captain Weber lived in a block which he owned, and that there was a gambling room in it for months, which was equipped with push buttons and other signals. The mayor, discussing the seeming conflicting opinion and vote, and answering the question whether he would reverse himself or stand pat, said yesterday that he thought he would veto again as he did at the trial.

"I gave the captain the benefit of the doubt," said the mayor. "I remember we went into the question exhaustively. I do not think I shall reverse myself."

Commissioner Rozzelle was strongly opposed to any reflection being cast upon the headquarters captain at the trial, so it is not likely he will turn about unless the mayor does.


"They dare not do it," said Alderman Pendergast yesterday, speaking of the investigation. "The mayor dare not do it, he dare not investigate the police unless he investigates the city hospital. I am not the man to start trouble, but if I have to throw the administration's city hospital onto the mayor to keep him from making trouble for the police, I am in for doing it this time. Take a peep under the lid at the hospital and you will decide that the police and the detectives are a department of saints. They mayor dare not investigate the one without investigating the other. I am not screening crooks. If there are grafters on the department, find them and find them quick, but find those in other departments, too, while you are at it."

Alderman Pendergast for many years was the main support of the police department. He is now being called into service again and yesterday was industriously at work in behalf of the department.

The commissions of all the superiors, including Chief Hays and Inspector Halin, expired yesterday. The men will be serving legally until they are recommissioned or their successors are appointed to relieve them. Inspector Halpin is said to be withholding his resignation solely because men in his department are under fire. He is said to have made $50,000 in the last five years as a partner with his brother, James Halpin, in the contracting business, and has been wanting to give his whole time to that business for some months. Now that he is under charges of running his department loosely he is hesitating about resigning, but his friends are saying for him that he would no more than thank the board for a new commission.


When the commissioners meet tomorrow morning it will be to talk over the reorganization. Commissioner Gallagher will be for postponing everything till the governor can come, as he has said he will. Commissioner Rozzelle will favor issuing new commissions at once. They mayor will have the deciding vote. He favors Chief Hayes and on the day of the trial of the cases of Detective Kenney and Huntsman said "they are two of our best men. Accordingly it is possible that the mayor may vote to recommission.

Commissioner Gallagher said yesterday he did not think there would be an investigation. "It is a joke to think the policemen would testify against their superiors. The Latcham case shows what would happen to them if they did. They would get on the stand and tell nothing, or worse than nothing. We know enough now to decide whether new commissions ought to be issued. It will not take me long to decide. I know what the governor wants. I think Mr. Rozzelle knows, too.