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the question before the house is on the motion, which has been moved and seconded, and that is that the resolutions read be adopted.

The resolutions were unanimously adopted.

The President:

A few days ago there was put into my hands, as President of the Association, a written document from the Bar Association of the city of Jamestown, with a request that I present it to the Association. I have handed it to the Secretary and I will ask him now to read it.

The Secretary read the following communication from the Bar Association of the City of Jamestown:


Resolved, That the following communication addressed to the New York State Bar Association, and that the President and Secretary be directed to place the same in the hands of the President of the said Association at once with the request that it be presented to the Association at its annual meeting on the nineteenth instant:

To the New York State Bar Association:

The Bar Association of the city of Jamestown respectfully submits for your consideration the following statement respecting accusations against the Hon. Warren B. Hooker, a Justice of the Supreme Court:

The report of the Fourth Assistant Postmaster-General of the United States, dated the 24th day of October, 1903, contains the following statements of fact at pages 136, 137:

"On January 12, 1899, the postmaster at Fredonia, N. Y., was directed to appoint Minerva Jeffrey as a clerk in his office at the rate of $600 per annum (Exhibit Q-5).

The postmaster states that he never saw Minerva Jeffrey; that she did no work in his office, but that she drew pay from January 15, 1899, to June 15, 1899, $251.66 in all; that her payments were sent by check to Washington. An examination of Beavers' bank account shows that these checks were deposited in his personal account. She was afterwards transferred from the rolls of the Fredonia office to Burlington, Vt., and her salary fixed at $1,200 per annum. In that office she rendered service. On March 11, 1903, she was transferred to the New York post-office, where she is now employed.

Maurice Hooker was appointed a laborer in the postoffice at Fredonia, N. Y., at $400 per annum, on January 1, 1902, and though he did no work in the office he drew pay at that rate until June 30, 1903, amounting to $600. He employed a substitute for a part of the time at an expense of about $150.

At Fredonia, N. Y., on October 11, 1898, the postmaster was directed to appoint Frank P. Ball as laborer, at a salary of $600 per annum, which he did; and Ball was carried on the rolls at that rate from October 12, 1898, to December 31, 1902, and paid $2.532.07, for which he rendered no service whatever, being engaged most of the time in the ticket brokerage business at Dunkirk, N. Y. This period covers a part of the terms of two postmasters; both of them, however, certified Ball as regularly employed.

The auditor was notified of this irregularity, and as a result a draft was drawn against the late postmaster, Arthur R. Moore, for the amount paid Ball while he was postmaster, $647.28, which was promptly paid. The remainder, $1,884.79, has been charged against the account of the present postmaster, Melville H. Taylor, which he promises to pay as soon as he can secure the money.

At Dunkirk, N. Y. (Exhibit Q-9), John A. Link was appointed a laborer in the post-office on May 1, 1898, at $600 per annum, and drew pay until June 30, 1903, without rendering service. He was a barber and continued to work at his trade during all that time. He received in all $3,100.55, less about $171 paid for a substitute by Post

master Barnard; of this $2,626.09 was paid while F. C. Nagle was postmaster, and the remainder $474.46, during the term of F. B. Barnard, the incumbent.

This case was reported to the auditor and drafts drawn for the above amounts. Nagle, the late postmaster, refused to pay, but Postmaster Barnard paid the amount due from him. Nagle, who was postmaster when Link was appointed, declines to state why he was placed upon the rolls of the office and permitted to draw pay without rendering any service."

The same report, at pages 140, 141, contains a statement regarding the leasing to the United States of certain premises for the post-office in the city of Dunkirk. Omitting a portion of that statement relative to negotiations for such lease, to quote which would make this unduly long, the following is the statement regarding the lease in question:

"Finally, after further correspondence (Exhibit R-5), on February 11, the Stearn's proposition, which included a complete equipment of boxes, fixtures, furniture, etc., was accepted at $1,350; and on October 15, 1901, following, a lease for ten years was executed with the 'three months' clause' eliminated, and the office moved. On January 27, 1902, about three months from the date of execution of this lease, it was canceled and another executed at a rental of $1,500 per annum. And again on May 14, less than four months afterwards, this $1,500 lease was canceled and another one executed for a period of ten years, at a rental of $2,000 per annum, with the 'three months' clause' eliminated.

No additional service was provided for in any of the subsequent leases to that included in the original, at $1,350 per annum. Inspector Cochrane, of the New York division, in referring to this case, says (Exhibit R-21):

'Mr. Stearns informed me that the first contract was made at $1,350 per annum, but stated that there had been an inside understanding with the Government that the rate would be advanced; and, further, that the allowance

was accordingly made to $1,500 per annum, and later to the present rate of $2,000 per annum.'

It will be observed that instead of using this authority given by Congress to make long-time leases to secure better buildings for less money, it has been used for the benefit of grafters' who seek to pillage the public revenues. Why should a lease be made at all if it is to be canceled in a few months without cause? The most charitable conclusion that can be drawn from Beavers' action in canceling these leases is that by the lavish waste of the public money he sought to secure the good will of men prominent in political life."


It is to be noted that the language of the Assistant Postmaster-General speaks of the lessors in this case as grafters who seek to pillage the public revenues." The foregoing statements were given to the world by the President of the United States with his memorandum approving the report, dated the 24th day of November, 1903, and the statements hereinbefore quoted, together with many others, were published by the President as examples of gross corruption in public life.

It is a well-known fact that Justice Hooker now resides and has resided for many years at Fredonia, N. Y., and that the city of Dunkirk is situate about three miles from that village.

It is also well known that Justice Hooker was a representative in Congress until about December, 1898, at which time he resigned that office upon being appointed to fill a vacancy upon the bench of the Supreme Court, and that he was elected for a full term as Justice of the Supreme Court in the year 1899.

It is also a well-known fact that Mr. M. H. Taylor, who is named in the report quoted, has for a long time been an active political adherent of Justice Hooker and was appointed postmaster at Fredonia upon his recom

mendation. It is also stated to be a fact, and we believe correctly, that Justice Hooker was and is one of the owners of the building in the city of Dunkirk referred to in the report of the Assistant Postmaster-General, the other owner being the Hon. Lester F. Stearns, who is named in the report. It is also commonly stated as a fact, and we believe correctly, that the Maurice Hooker referred to in the statement cited, is a nephew of Justice Hooker, and during the whole or some portion of the time mentioned in the report, the said Maurice Hooker was attending school in the said village of Fredonia.

Upon inquiry Mr. Arthur R. Moore states that a draft was drawn upon him as stated in the report of the Assistant Postmaster-General, but that he declined to pay and did not pay it. We believe Mr. Moore to be entirely credible, and it is to be observed that the report, although stating the draft was paid, does not say Mr. Moore paid the draft.

Immediately upon the publication of the report of the Assistant Postmaster-General local public attention was greatly directed to the foregoing statements therein, and their approval by the President, and it was vehemently charged that Justice Hooker was either the person primarily responsible for the acts referred to or that they could not have been committed without his consent. These charges during the past two months have assumed such definiteness and form in the public press and otherwise as to create a public scandal.

The members of this Association conceived that as an individual Justice Hooker was entitled to meet these charges at such time and in such manner as approved themselves to him, and that as an individual, if he chose to remain silent, it was a matter which need not in the least concern us.

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