corupt police in New York

Clipped from US, New York, New York, New York Times, September 4, 1891

Any One Caught Contributing Corruption Fund Will aPROTECTM FOB THE HONEST MENOrder from tike Police Board. Sent Outby Acting Chief Conlin andaBead at the Stations at Midnight.The anxious consideration which the Police Commissioners have been giving- to the rumored foundation of a great secret organization in the department designed to flight the efforts of the reform Commissioners to reorganize the force has resulted in decisive action on the part of the board.By a general order leaned by Acting Chief Conlin and read in the various police stations at midnight last night, all members of the force were informed that they were not obliged to belong to any organization or contribute to any fund whatever unless they chose to do so, and they were warned that any contribution to a fund raised for corrupt purposes would be punished by dismissal from the department and would be likely fo land the men contributing In jail.On the other hand, the protection of the CommfssioneVs was promised to members of the department against any petty persecution on the part of their associates or superior officers should they refuse to contribute to any such, fund If an attempt to raise it is made, and the good intentions of the Pokice Board toward the department were repeated and emphasized.This action was taken by Commissioners Roosevelt and Parker, who since the end of last week have been, carefully Investigating and considering the rumors about the actions of the rank and file of the department, which had come to their ears. The substance of these rumors was to the effect that a meeting of delegates from the various precincts in the city had been held, with the intention of forming an association In the department, which should raise a fund of from $80,000 to $100,000 for the purpose of Influencing legislators to block any further police reform legislation at Albany. The association, it was said, was to consist of patrolmen, Roundsmen and Sergeants, who were to pay an initiation fee, respectively, of $20, $25, and $50. Afterward the men were to contribute from $5 upward per month, according to their pay and standingin the department. The fund thus raised was to be spent In securing the election of one or more members of the Legislature, who would work solely in the interests of the men who had enabled them to go to Albany, by blocking all police reform legislation, and by bribing other members ofLthe Legislature to vote against police reform bills.It was felt by the Police Board that the plan meant practically an organised revolt of the 4,000 policemen in the city against reform, and President Roosevelt with the co-operation of Commissioner Parker, at once riet to work to investigate statements they haa,4»eahd. .When interviewed' Saturday Commissioner 'Barker said: “Wo are awarb that tlrere are many criminals upon the police forces who, through fear of punishment; for past misdeeds and hope of the opportunity for future misdeeds, would descend to almost any ^neans of postponing the retribution which Is certain Booner of later to come, and which it behoves the people Of this city and this State to Inflict at the earliest moment if the police forcfe and the public life of thb city is to be reusable degradationdeemed from the unspe disclosed last year ”' Yesterday and Mondaj^ were devoted by the Commissioners almost exclusively to investigating the rumorsj The usual Monday meeting of the Police Board was post*-poned for that purpose. After Commissioners Andrews and Grant had left Headquarters last night, Chief Conlin. was sent for to confer with President Roosevelt and Commissioner Parker in the latter* e room.The Late Grand Recorder Robert' Macoy’a Protege. Well Known Among Masons, Is a Prisoner.Mrs. Elizabeth St. John, who is well known In Masonic circles In Brooklyn as a protSgd of the late Robert Macoy, who was Grand Recorder of the Knights Templars of this State, was arrested near her home in Brooklyn yeBterday afternoon under circumstances that seem to Indicate that she Is insane.Mrs. St. John lives in the frame house 187 Penn Street in the Eastern District. The upper floor Is occupied by Henry Betherson, who was awakened About 1 A. M. yesterday by smoke which was pouring into his apartments. When the firemen arrived it was discovered that the fire was of incendiary origin, it having been set in different parts of the building. Mrs. St. John was nowhere to be seen, but aboutohalf an hour after the flames were extinguished she was found by a policeman, in Hewes Street, near Kent Avenue, going toward the river, and scantily attired. The policeman took her to the Lee Avenue Police Station, and on the way there she told him she set fire to her home to cook crabs.Nothing was known at the Lee AvenuePolice Station about the fire in Mrs. St.John's house until she was arranged before Justice Goettling in the Lee Ayenue Police Court. She was then accused of arson, but as she seemed to be demented Bhe was sent to Raymond Street Jail pending examination as to her mental condition. Fire Marshal Brymer Interviewed Mrs. St John In the jail, and she told him she had eaten nothing in a week. Her daughter, Mrs. Grace Hertzy, who lives with her. Is In the country.Mrs. Anna We3t of 218 Marcy Avenue, who is Past Associate Grand Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, also visited Mrs. St. John In the jailMrs, St. John is about fifty-five years old. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Peterson and her husband's name was Bibley, but after his death, ten years ago, she assumed the name of St. John, because, she said, she was born on St. Valentine’s day, under the sign of Aquarius, and, therefore, 8t. John was her proper name.She lost a daughter several years ago, and since then her mind seems to have been affected.Mrs. St. John has always taken a prominent part in women’s secret societies, and after the death of Robert Macoy, she produced papers showing that he had adopted her as his daughter. She insisted upon sitting with his family during the funeral ceremonies In Aurora Grata Cathedral, but was persuaded to relinquish what she claimed her right. She afterwaid went to a conclave of De Witt Clinton Commandery attired in white satin and carrying Sir Robert Macoy’s sword, with which she promenaded around the lodgeroom before the assembled Knights. Then ahe disappeared.Mrs. St. John also possessed many of Mr. Macoy’s jewels, which for a long time she refused to give to his family until they threatened action against her. Her house, she declared, she intended to convert into a hospital, to be known as the Robert Macoy Memorial Hospital of the Order of the Eastern Star.Mrs St. John once lectured at a well-known business college in Brooklyn on the subject of the triangle, but her discourse was so rambling that her audience left the hall soon after she began speaking.She was once an Inmate of an asylum and will probably be sent back to it.FOREST FIRES RAGING AGAINMany Homes in the Clearings Aronnd E## Harbor City, N, J., Abau.iloiicd by Their , 0 wfleK and -Left to Bara.CAPE MAY, N,- 3—Forest firesare raging fiercely four miles southeast of Tuckahoe, and the flames are approaching toward Egg Harbor City with incredible speed. At 10 o'clock to-night there la every likelihood that everything combustible within forty or fifty miles of the place will beconsumed. The farmers are building back fires, but with little hope of saving any of their property.All the home3 of people In the clearings have been practically abandoned, As they would only jepoardize their lives by remaining in them The country burned over so far Is sparsely settled.HAMMONDTON, N. J.. Sept. S.—Fire broke out in the Hampton cranberry bog to-day, and extended from there to the bags owned by Joseph Wharton and the Wilkinsons' Many aere3 of boga were burned over, and thousands of bushels of berries were destroyed.THE NEW BROOKLYN DRY DOGEoftoryerri-ie.3dtieSoon afterward messengers were sent for from all the precincts and the order warning members of the department to be careful was dispatched. It was Intended by the Commissioners to say nothing to the reporters until toj-day.President Roosevelt, when questioned about the order refused to make any statement regarding It. Commissioner Parker, (however, admitted that the text of the order agreed with the sketch of It described to him, and confirmed the statement that It was issued with relation to the proposed raising of a corruption fund.” He said: I made a statement on the subject Saturday, and since then I have been giving the matter very careful attention This morning I exchanged views with Mr. Roosevelt. Ab we understand It, the thing is as yet only a proposition. Now, you cannot punish the mere consideration of a anything. There must be an attempt or a commission. So we decided to Issue this statement to members-of the force, in order to nip'-in the bud any such scheme as it is rumored they intend undertaking. I understand that from time to time. there have been various associations existing among members of the force, and at times members of these associations have been asked to contribute subscriptions without any explanation, being given as to what the money was raised for. If a man objected to contributing: he was not pressed, but he was set down as a marked man In the future. The Commissioners well understand the many acts of petty persecution and annoyance to which such men could be subjected on the part of their associates and superiors, and the purpose in issuing this order was to assure all who did not care to go into any such scheme as is rumored to have been |roposed', or^ any other scheme whatsoever, pernicious or otherwise, that, Instead of .their being marked n»en in the future, it. Is the others who might attempt to annoy them who will be * marked ’ by , the* Commissi oners. Any attempt to coerce men into any such schemes will be promptly and effectively dealt with by this board.**’Some anxiety was expressed among friends of the'PolIce Board, who ” know the ropes,” last night, lest their action should be construed Into an attack on the two organizations which already exist in the department But this is not the belief. There are two organizations in the force, both of a harmless nature. One is the Police Benevolent Association, an organisation formed for insurance purposes, the members of which, by paying 55 cents per month insure themselves for $200 at death. The other is the Patrolmen’s protective Organization, the members of which consist of the patrolmen only, and in which officers in the force have no power.Report of the Naval Board on the Method of Const r act Ion Made.WASHINGTON, Sept. 3.—The Navy Department officials who have charge of the Government dry docks, fear that they will be put to additional trouble concerning the new timber dock in course of construction at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The firm of Walsh Brothers of New-York is completing the dock, the original contractor, James Glilie3 of Brooklyn, having been notified to abandon his contractThere has been a question before the department concerning the method of construction adopted by the present contractors, and the differences of opinion between the Navy Department experts and the Walshfl3 were referred to a board of officers which has been in session at Brooklyn. The report of this board was received at the Navy Department to-day, and Its contents were withheld from the public until Secretary Herbert has an opportunity to act upon the findings of the board. If the board recommends that the methods of the contractors be disapproved, the builders will be forced to accept the view taken by the department experts.The present dock has given the department a vast amount of trouble.MiY UNIFORM ALL THE MENReport that Mr. fi^okfleld Is to Follow Col. Waring’* Example.A rumor was current last night that Commissioner of Public Works Brookfield had issued an order whereby all the men la his department must wear uniforms His deputy, Mr. Collls, has been, it la said, a keen observer of the results obtained by putting the men of the Department ofStreet Cleaning In white duck. He is said to have come to the conclusion that, for many reasons, the public would be better served If the men in all the branches of public service wore a dress that would be at once neat, serviceable, and distinctive.Were all men under Commissioner Brookfield's administration to be* uniformed it would include the employes of the Bureaus of Repairs and Supplies, of Streets and Roads, of Street Improvements, of Lamps and Gas, of the Chief Engineer of Croton Aqueduct, of the Water Purveyor, of the Water Register, of Sewers, and of Encumbrances. „ „Neither Mr. Brookfield nor Mr. Collls could be found last night to verify the rumor.Shot Dead lu His Baggy.GALLATIN, Penn., Sept. 8.—William Guthrie, a prominent citizen of Gallatin and a brother of the Mayor of Gallatin, was shot twice and Instantly killed yesterday by James Shaffer, son of Capt. Harry Shaffer, the owner of the celebrated PeytoniaStock Farm. GutKrla and a friend named Sawyers of Lexington, Ky., were shooting doves on the Shaffer place, when Shaffer ordered them off. The men had some words, and Shaffer came out with a gun. He told Sawyers to get out of the buggy, as he was going to kill GuthHe. Sawyers got out, ana Shaffer shot Guthrie twice. He fell out of the buggy dead. Shaffer waf arrested and is now in jail.asthheButeher Graff KUK Himself*Max Graff, a butcher at'4$ Del y Street shot himself last evening. The ball penetrated!, the right side .of the forehead and produced’Instant .death. He had long Buffered from chronic allmente/ahd had been very despondent of lit* .. f»*Mr*. Gerry Reported Much Better,Mrs. Gerry, mother of Commodore Gerry.was much better last night. At the houseit was stated that a marked improvement in her condition had taken place during the •dayi ana that the critical point, it was behaved, had been passed.