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Annual report of the Attorney General of the State of New York online

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the court house and jail in said county, under and in the name of
the Acme Building Company.

Defendant tried, trial occupying two days; convicted. Fined
$1,000, which was paid.

Three other indictments for like offenses, to which demurrers
were interposed and sustained.

George F. Sautkr. For fraudulently presenting false bill for
audit.

July 15th defendant pleaded guilty to this indictment and on
September 23rd was fined $1,000, which was paid.

All other indictments against him were dismissed.

George A. Pepper. For obtaining money from the county by
false and fraudulent bill presented for work reported to have been
done on the Crane street road by the team of one A. Gulick.

Convicted of petit larceny and fined $500.

George A. Pepper. For obtaining from the county money by
the aid of false and fraudulent bill presented for work reported to
have been done on the High Bridge road in said county by the team
of one A. Gulick.

On June 23rd defendant pleaded guilty to petit larceny. On
September 23rd he was fined $500, which was paid.

All other indictniei.ts against him were dismissed.
Perjury,

Fret) Itoi.FK. F<jr testifying'; falsely on the examination before
the romi)tn>ller.

Tndictnieut dismissed.

The work at Schenectady set nis lo have Ikk^u very beneficial in
its results. However, to thoroughly protect the public and espe-
cially the various municipal c fficers of the State, section 1868
should be by amendment so extended as to prohibit all transactions
between such officers and their several municipalities which relate



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Report of the Attorney-Genebal. 373

to matters which are subject to review, ratification or approval by
them ill their official capacity.

VIRGIL K. KELLOGG,

Deputy xUiorney-General.
Dated, Deceinber 23, 1910.



REPORT OF INVESTIGATION OF QUEENS COUNTY

GRAFT CASES.



December 27, 1910.

Hon. Edward R. O'Malley, Atlorney-Gencral of the State of
Nev; Yoi'l', Albany, New Yoik:

Dear Sir. — Having been duly deputized l)y you, in accordance
with the requirement of His Excellency, Charles E. Hughes,
Governor of the State of Xew York, dated September 22, 1910,
pursuant to the provisions of section 62 of the Executive Law, I
forthwith, pursuant to your instructions, beg to make a report of
the results of my investigation conducted in Queens County.

On the morning of October 4, 1910, I attended the October
Term of the Supreme Court of Queens County, held in the County
Court House, Long Island City, and was present when Mr. Justice
Kapper charged the grand jury in relation to their duties with
respect to investigating the alleged condition of political graft
existing in that county. 1 immediately filed a certified copy of
the Governor's requirement, 3'our designation, and my oath of
office with the County Clerk, and commenced the examination
of witnesses before the grand jury and the general work of
Investigation.

Organ iz at I ox.

At the outset I found myself much hampered owing to the fact
that there seemed to be no funds available for my use in employ-
ing legal assistants, stenographers or detectives. The county
authorities took the position that where the State intervened the
State should bear the burden of necessary expenditures. I was
fortunate enough, however, through the co-operation of the Comp-
troller of the city of Xew York, shortly to overcome this difficulty,
and through the courtesy of the County Judge and of the District
Attorney of Queens, to secure two suites of offices in the County



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374



Report of the Attorney-General.



C^ourt House at Long Island City. I was equally fortunate in
obtaining the services, as my assistants, of several lawyers with
whom I had previously been associated in the District Attorney's
office of Xew York County; and my staff during the past ten
weeks has at times numbered four lawyers, six stenographers and
two confidential investigators. The average number of persons
directly engaged upon the work has been ten. In this connection
I might say that every phase of the work has been done by my
o\^^l men. The thirty-five indictments found by the local District
Att<^)rney, and filed by preceding grand juries, were many of them
redrafted and the evidence resubmitted ; and everything connected
with the investigatiim, from the subpoeaning of witnesses to the
drafting of the bail bcmds, has been performed independently of
the county authorities.

Indictments Pkevioust.y Found.

The following is a list of the various defendants indicted by the
May (1910) Grand Jury, which indictments were transmitted to
me bv the District Attornev:



Name of Defendant.



Crime.



Total Num-
ber of
Indictments.



Indictment
Numbers.



Burke, Cornelius J Grand larceny, 2nd degree.

Cragen, John M Grand larceny, 2nd degree.

Forgery, 2nd degree

Geronimo, Maurice M.. Grand larceny, 2nd degree.

Goldner, Matthew J Grand larceny, 2nd degree.

Greaser, Lawrence Auditing false claims

Jordan, Cornelius J. . . . Petit larceny

[Convictedy Dec. 15,
1910] Grand larceny, 2nd degree.



Kreuscher, Robert Grand larceny, 2nd degree.

Leahy, Patrick E Grand larceny, If^t degree..

Grand larceny, 2nd degree.

Phillips, John M Presenting false claim

Grand larceny, 1st degree.



Grand larceny, 2nd degree. .



1 2849
2801
4 2790
1 282G
1 2839

1 2852
4 2737

2742
10 2738
2819
2822
2825

2 2850
4 2858

2861
1 2862
1 2808
4 2853

2856
1 2857



2802 2803



[Dismissed]

2739 2741

2740 2743
2820 2821
2823 2824

2851

2859 2860



2854 2855



Total 35



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Eeport of the Attorney-General. 375

During the past ten weeks my assistants and I have interviewed
and examined preliminarily some 500 or 600 witnesses, have in-
terrogated of these about 200 before the Grand Jury, and have
drafted 95 indictments, all of which have been duly found and
filed by the Grand Jury. The defendants in these indictments
include a former Superintendent of Highways, a former Super-
intendent of Sewers, a former Secretary to the Borough President,
the present Chief Engineer in the Bureau of Highways, the
present Chief Clerk in the Highway Department, a former Chief
Clerk in the Sewer Department, the City Architect, a former
under-SheriflF, the president of a prominent political club, and
several minor officials. The indictments also embrace several fore-
men and the so-called "tin-horse and cart" brigade; and would
include many others, officials and otherwise, were it not for the
Statute of Limitations.

Total Num-
Name of Defendant. Crime. ber of Indictment

Indictments. Numbers.

Burke, Cornelius J Violation § 774, Penal Code. 2 3249 3250

Coco, Peter M Violation § 439, Penal Code. 8 3210 3211 3212

3213 3214 3215

3216 3217
Cragen, John M Forgery, 2nd degree 4 3185 3186 3187

3188
Forgery, 3rd degree 4 3189 3190 3191

3192
Grand larceny, 2nd degree.. 4 3243 3244 3245

3246

Cosgrove, James Petit larceny 3 3234 3231 3237

Cook, Robert Petit larceny 2 3228 3241

Broome, William Petit larceny 2 3233 3234

Dermody, James Petit larceny 4 3233 3223 3229

3238

Johnson, James H Conspiracy 1 3249

Kreuscher, Robert Grand larcony, 2nd degree.. 2 3199 3200

I^ahy, Patrick E Grand larceny, 1st degree... 4 3180 3181 3182

3183
Grand larceny, 2nd degree.. 1 3184

I^ughlin, Jt., Thos. F . . Petit larceny 3 3221 3230 3232

Morschauser, Daniel Petit larceny 4 3225 3226 3236

3240
Nelson, John B Grand larceny, 2nd degree.. 4 3193 3294 3195

3196



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37G Report of the Attorney-General.

Total Num- i a' * ♦
Name of Defendant. Crime. ber of Numb!^re

Indictments.

Nowotny, Anton Petit larceny 2 3227 3233

Pagluicca, Felix Petit larceny 2 3218 3239

Phillips, John M Forgery, 2nd degree 1 3201

( I rand larceny, 2nd degree
and violation § 1872, Penal

Code 1 3242

Grand larceny, 1st degree... 4 3180 3181 3182

3183
Grand larceny, 2nd degree.. 3 3184 3197 3198

Phillips, Joseph F Grand larceny. 2nd deprree.. 2 3197 3198

Ringe, Hermann Conspiracy 1 3249

Siegel, George Petit larceny 2 3247 3248

Total 95

One of tho most important results in tlie inqnirv has been the
indictment for perjnrv of Charles Bermel, the brother of former
Borongh President Joseph liermel, who resigned subsequent to
the Kissena Park investigation. The perjury in question was
committed before the 1908 Grand Jury which was investigating
Joseph Bermel's connection with the sale to the City of New
York of Kissena Park and the likelihood of his having profited
thereby, and related to the origin and identity of a certain sum
of $20,000 which came into the j)()ssession of Charles Bermel
subsequent to the sale in question, and which he now alleges that
he in fact received from his brother Joseph.

Although the labor incident to the ])reliminary examination of
these witnesses, their formal interrogation l)efore the Grand Jury,
the drafting of this large number of indictments, and the argu-
ment of the motiojis which have formed a part of the dilatory
tactics pursued by defendants' counsel in every case, have rendered
it practically impossible to dispone of these indictments by trial,
there has been one conviction for petit larceny in the case of
Cornelius J. Jordan, a clerk in the Department of Water, Gas
and Electricity, resulting in the disposal of the fourteen indict-
ments against him found last May by the present District Attorney,
which were transmitted to me in conformity with the terms of
the Governor's requirement.

This defendant w^as duly sentenced to six months in the Queens
County Jail and to pay a fine of »$2r)0, and is now serving his
sentence.



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Report of the Attorney-General* 3YY

In pursuance of my general investigation into conditions exist-
ing in the local government of the Borough of Queens, I have
made a careful study of the conditions existing in the office of
the Borough President, with a view to determining how far he
might himself be criminally responsible for such conditions.

As a result, John M. Cragen, a former secretary to President
Gresser, is now under twelve indictments and awaiting trial.

I have also carefully investigated the topographical bureau, the
bureau of sewers and the bureau of highways, with the result that
many indictments have been found arising out of conditions dis-
covered there.

I have also made a partial examination of the bureau of street
cleaning and of the bureau of buildings, and the only department
of the local government uninvestigated is that known as the depart-
ment of public buildings and offices. I should recommend that
the three departments last mentioned be made the subject of future
investigation.

I am convinced that, for the sake of the Borough of Queens
and for the community in general, the indictments which have
l)een found by this and preceding grand juries should be vigorously
prosecuted, to the end that as many of the persons indicted may
be punished as possible. The borough has for the last twenty
years been the subject of constant rumor and criticism, and the
borough officials owe it to themselves to set these rumors definitely
at rest by uniting in a common effort to see that those of their
number who are im worthy should be cast out.
Respectfully submitted,

ARTHUR C. TRAIN,
Deputy Alloi-ney-General.



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OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL.



DECISIONS OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL IN APPLI-
CATIONS TO COMMENCE ACTIONS IN THE NAME
or THE PEOPLE; ALSO SUCH OFFICIAL OPIN-
IONS RENDERED BY THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL
AS ARE DEEMED TO BE OF GENERAL PUBLIC IN-
TEREST, AND OPINIONS RENDERED IN MATTERS
BEFORE THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE LAND
OFFICE.



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THE FOLLOWIXG APPLICATIONS FOR THE COM-
MENCEMENT OF CIVIL ACTIONS HAVE BEEN
PASSED UPON DURING THE YEAR 1910 AND THE
FINAL DISPOSITION IN EACH CASE IS INDL
GATED.

Application of Fred Dussler to commence an action for the
removal of Milton J. Blodgett from the office of president and
director of the BuflFalo Glass Company. Application denied.

Application of John Kreitner for the commencement of an ac-
tion for the removal of certain officers of the Iroquois Brewing
Company. Application denied.

Application of John J. Mullaney to commence an action for dis-
solution of the Ideal Opening Die Company. Application denied.

An application was made to commence an action to dissolve the
Clinton Beckwith Engineering Company. Under section 102 of
the General Corporation Law, I omitted to commence such an
action for sixty days, as all necessary redress could be obtained by
a creditor or stockholder, without involving the people therein.

Two applications Avere made by Louis L. Forman to commence
an action in the nature of quo warranto to oust and exclude one
Edward IT. Bostwick from the office of City Judge of the city of
Ithaca. The first application was withdrawn by the petitioner on
February 7th and the second on the 25th of October and both
proceedings were thus discontinued.

An application to commence an action to dissolve the Greenwich
Insurance Company was denied March 23d, with leave to renew.

An application was made by Joseph Malcolm and others to
commence an action against Edward E. Conrad and Max M. Hart
to test their title to the positions of directors of the Malcolm
Knitting Company, and the validity of their election to the offices
of president and secretary and treasurer of said company, which
was granted on the 23d day of February, 1910.

An application of Chester M. Freeman to conmience an action
against Julius E. Mosheim, Charles Freidenburg and Max Marks
as officers of Film Import & Trading Company was granted on
the 17th day of February, 1910.

An application was made by John J. Becker to begin an action
for removal of Charles Wissman, Edward Grecnwald and Alfred



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382 Report of the Attorney-General.

Lust as officers, directors and managers of the Flat Iron Restaurant
Company.

An application was made by Daniel II. Lewis, Olin H. Landreth
and Andrew J. Provost to commence an action against Charles
Sooysmith, Henry I). B. Parsons and Linsley R. Williams (Metro-
politan Sewage Commission), to oust and remove them from their
respective offices.

An application was made by John Miller to commence an action
against Herman V. Mynderse to test his title to office of president
of village of Scotia. Application gi'anted.

In the matter of the application of Joseph P. Fallon v. John J.
Dwyer, to test title to the office of Justice of Municipal Court,
Eighth District, New York city. Application granted.

In the matter of the application for leave to institute action
to oust and exclude Clarence Ames from office of trustee of village
of Tivoli. Application granted.

In the matter of the application of Ellen Meaney for the dis-
solution of the Eagle Steam Laundry Company of Queens County.
Application granted.

In the matter of charges preferred by A. D. Wales in behalf
of Minnie M. Proctor to remove Walter F. Hofheins, Deputy
Attorney-General. Application denied.

In the matter of the application of William D. Tindall v. Albion
C. DeGraw et al., officers of Pine Lawn Cemetery. Application
denied.

In the matter of the application of William A. Davidson to
begin action against the Otsego & Herkimer Railway Company
to test title of office of certain directors. Application denied with
leave to renew on further facts.

An application was made by Louis N. S. Miller to bring an
action against A. A. Gardenier to test his title to the office of
supervisor of the town of Schodack. Application denied.

Application by Edward Heinrich for the removal of Augustus
Kiernan from the office of trustee of Sag Harbor granted.

Application by William A. DeGroot to commence an action
against James F. McLaughlin to test the title to the office of
Justice of the Municipal Court in Xew York city, was granted.

An application was made by James W. McLaughlin to corn-



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Report of the Attorney-Geneeal, 383

iiience an action to test the title of Thomas F. Noonan and Thomas
E. Murray to their respective offices of Justices of the Municipal
Court for the Third District of the city of New York, Borough
of Manhattan.

An application was made by John 0. Schmidt for annulment of
The International Automobile League. Denied.

An application was made by Bernard Moseman for the sus-
pension of Isaac Levin as president of The Ellanan Adjustable
Dress Form Company. Denied.



OPINIONS RENDERED THE GOVERNOR.



Prison Law — Section 214 — Indeterminate Sentence — Paroles,
Board of Parole has no authority to release on parole one Greorge

Sehm, sent to Auburn first on an indeterminate and again

on a definite sentence.

(See opinion November 29, 1009, p. 819 Rep.)

STATE OF NEW YORK,

Attorney-General's Office,

Albany, Janvary 24, 1910.

To His Excellency, The Governor, Albany, N. Y,:

Dear Sir. — I have the honor of acknowledging receipt of your
esteemed favor of the 6th inet. in which you ask whether the
Board of Parole had the power to release one George Sehm under
the circumstances described in your letter, which are as follows:

Tt appears that Sehm was sentenced October 30, 1905, to Auburn
prison for an indeterminate sentence of not less than one year and
three months nor more than fonr years for the crime of assault in
the second degree ; that while he was out on bail upon a certificate
of reasonable doubt he committed another felony for which he was
eonvipted of the crime of grand larceny, first degree, and on March
0, 1900, sentenced therefor to Auburn prison for a definite term
of two years and ten months ; that the stay was vacated before the
second sentence was imposed and on March 10, 1906, the sheriflF
took the prisoner to Auburn prison under both commitments ; and
that on November 11, 190Y, after he had served one year and
eight months, the Board of Parole purported to authorize the



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884 Report of the Attorney-General.

release of the prisoner and to order him discharged from the in-
detorniinate sentence and the prison authorities then purported
to confine him under the definite sentence of two years and ten
m(mths, which, with statutory commutation is now said to expire
on January 31, 1910.

Tender date of November 21), 1900, I rendered an opinion to
Hon. C. V. Collins, Superintendent of State Prisons, in reply to
a general question propounded by him in substance as follows:
Whether the Board of Parole had the power in the case of a
prisoner who is under confinenumt under two sentences, the first
indeterminate and the second definite, to follow immediately upon
the expiration of the firsts to i)arole such a prisoner at the expira-
tion of the minimum term of the first sentence in order that he
may immediately begin the service of his second sentence, and in
such opinion I stated that a prisoner confined under such condi-
tions would not be entitled to a parole and discharge at the expira-
tion of the minimum term of his first sentence in order to allow
him to begin the service of his second sentence.

It is very apparent from a careful reading of section 214 of the
I^rison Law that the Board of Parole has the authority to parole
such prisoners only as can " be allowed to go upon parole outside
of said prison walls and inclosure upon such terms and conditions
as said board shall prescribe." It is equally clear by section 2190
of the Penal Law that where a person is sentenced to two or more
terms of imprisonment that his se(*ond or subsequent sentence shall
commence at the termination of the first or other prior term or
terms, and that his imprisonment must be continuous. I am
unable to find any law w^hereby the Board of Parole are given
authority to discharge a prisoner at the expiration of his first
term to give him the benefit of a parole that he cannot be allowed
to exercise, and in the absence of any statutory authority in such
board I do not think it had the power to authorize the release of
the prisoner Sehm, or to order him to be discharged from the
indeterminate sentence as it purported to do on November 11,
1907. The power of the Board of Parole is wholly statutory,
and it cannot be extended to include authority that is not definitely
given or fairly implied by the statute under which it is acting.

If the prisoner referred to serves the two terms as one con-
tinuing term, and his behavior justifies it, his sentence can be



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Report ot* the Attobney-Genebal. 385

commuted as provided by article IX of the Prison Law, which
will very materially shorten his confinement, but I am of the
opinion that the Board of Parole had no power or authority to
shorten it by parole as it purported to do by the action taken on
November 11, 1907.

Yours truly,

EDWARD R. O'MALLEY,

A ttomey- Oeneral.



Commission on State Farm for Women,

Appointment of Mrs. Charles L. Guy, as a member of the Com-
mission, lawful, even though she had resigned from the
Women's Prison Association.

STATE OF NEW YORK,

Attorney-Genebal's Office,

Albany, June 24, 1910.

Hon. Chables E. Hughes, Governor, Albany, N. Y.:

Dear Sir. — I have the honor to reply to your request for an
opinion concerning the appointment of a member of The Commis-
sion on State Farm for Women. Your communication states that
pursuant to the statute authorizing you to appoint two women as
members of this Commission, you appointed Mrs. Charles L. Guy,
who was at that time a member of the Women's Prison Association
of Xew York city. You state that she has resigned from that
association and is not now a member thereof; but the question
has arisen whether the severing of her relation with the Women's
Prison Association has of itself vacated her membership in The
Commission on State Farm for Women.

Chapter 467 of the Laws of 1908, which is an act to establish
a State farm for women, provides as follows:

" The superintendent of prisons, the president of the state
commission of prisons, a member of the state board of charities
to be designated by the governor, and two women to be ap-
pointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a member of

lai



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386 Eepobt of the Attorney-General.

the Women's Prison Association of Xew York City, are
hereby constituted a commission to be known as ^ The Com-
mission on State Farm for Women.' "

A member of this Commission is a State officer and not a local
one. The duties imposed upon the Commission and the powers
invested in it are to be exercised in behalf of all the people of
the State. The intent of the statute was to secure a Commission,
so far as possible, qualified with a knowledge of matters pertain-
ing to prison affairs, and to secure these qualifications it is pro-
vided that one of the women appointees should be a member of
the Women's Prison Association of New York city. By making
the Superintendent of Prisons and the President of the State
Commission of Prisons and a member of the State Board of
Charities members of this Commission, it was sought to secure a
Commission qualified for this work. If the Women's Prison
Association of New York city were to pass out of existence, it
could not be argued that that fact would vacate the membership
of Mrs. Guy upon The Commission on State Farm for Women.
In my judgment, the intent of the statute is complied with if the
appointee has the specified requirements at the time the appoint-
ment is made. It is my opinion, therefore, that Mrs. Guy is still
a lawful member of The Commission on State Farm for Women.
Yours respectfully,

EDWARD R. O'MALLEY,

Attomey-Oeneral.



Penal Law — Sections 43, 1140fl^, 1530, 1710.
Exhibition in the State of New York of moving pictures of the
Jeffries-Johnson prize fight, held at Reno, Nevada, whether
a violation of statute.

STATE OF NEW YORK,

Attorney-Geneeal's Office,

Albany, August 22, 1910.
Hon. Chaeles E. Hughes, Governor, Albany, N. Y.:

Dear Sir. — As requested by you in your communication of the
3d inst., I have examined the question whether the exhibition in



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Bepobt op the Attorney-Genebal, 387

this State of moving pictures of the Jeffries-Johnson prize fight
recently held at Reno, Nevada, violates the Penal Law. As a
result of this investigation, it is my opinion that except in unusual
circumstances it does not.

The only provisions which it could be claimed were violated by
this exhibition are sections 1530, 1140a and 43 of the Penal Law.



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