September 20, 1909

Commissioner Says Mrs. Burns Dis-
obeyed Orders in Various Ways.
She's Off the Force.

Mrs. Elizabeth Burns, for nearly two years a police matron, resigned yesterday upon the request of Thomas R. Marks, police commissioner. Mrs. Burns left police headquarters soon after and went to her home, 1509 Harrison street.

Mrs. Burns said she was accused by Mr. Marks of having allowed a reporter for The Journal to talk with Ethelyn Collins, held by the police as a material witness. The Journal printed no interview with the Collins girl. It was said that strict orders had been given that no one except police officers should talk with the Collins girl.

"I left the matron's room but a minute Saturday night," Mrs. Burns said. Mrs. Maud Fontella, where the Collins girl lived, brought the girl $31. As prisoners are not allowed to have money at police headquarters, I asked Henry C. Smith, a special investigator for the police board, who brought Mrs. Fontella to the matron's room, to wait in the room until I got back.

"When I returned three minutes later a reporter for The Journal was talking to Smith. So far as I know he did not talk to the girl nor make any effort to. I told him he could not talk to her and he laughed and said he 'had the whole story.'

"When Mr. Marks asked for my resignation, I was so stunned that I complied without thinking that he was not the entire board. I would not work at headquarters again, but I would like to be tried by the police board in order that my record may be cleared, as I am guiltless of any charge made."

Mrs. Burns is the widow of William Burns, for many years a member of the police force and a captain at the time of his death. She has four children.

Commissioner Marks denied last night that he had taken into consideration the fact that a Journal reporter had talked to the girl, in the presence of Henry Smith, a patrolman, when he asked Mrs. Burns for her resignation. He said that as far as he was concerned the fact that she had allowed a visitor to see Tony Cruie against expressed orders was not used against her.

She had allowed two men, one an old man and the other a young one, to speak with the girl against orders, he said, and had disobeyed orders in other ways, he intimated.

Soon after taking oath as a commissioner Mr. Marks informed reports that there would soon be two good-hearted matrons at police headquarters. It was rumored last night in police circles that Mrs. Joanna Moran was to be asked for her resignation also. Mrs. Burns and Capt. Walter Whitsett have had little difficulties several times.

Soon after Mrs. Burns left the station yesterday, Mrs. J. K. Ellwood, formerly matron of the detention home, was sent for by Mr. Marks. Her husband is the secretary to Inspector E. P. Boyle. She was placed in charge of the matron's room and spent the night at the station.

She said that Mr. Marks had asked her for forty-eight hours of her time, and then she was to be through. Asked if she expected to receive the appointment as a permanent position she refused to answer.