REPORT TO THE 1937 GRAND JURY ON GRAFT IN THE SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT Respectfully submitted by ATHERTON AND DUNN INVESTIGATIONS - MARCH 17, 1937 Released by Superior Court Judge Franklin A. Griffin in April 1939 transcribed by Hank Chapot - 2011 smashwords edition Free for wide distribution Thanks to the San Francisco Library History room transcribed by Hank Chapot, written by Edwin Atherton, made public property by Superior Court Judge Franklin A. Griffin in April 1939 as published in the local papers. In 1937, private investigator Edwin Atherton was hired by San Francisco politicians to investigate graft and corruption in the San Francisco police department. He delivered his 70-page report to a superior court judge who handed the much-anticipated bombshell to the public. It caused an uproar of civic indignation and lead to the fall of the House of McDonough, the last San Francisco boss. Within a year the report disappeared from the county clerk's office at city hall when a local attorney came looking, the county clerk had to request a superior court judge to certify the report as published in the local papers was the true and actual text of the missing graft documents. Here, for the first time, the text as transcribed from the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle is made available. Though the newspaper special inserts have existed in newspaper vaults, they have been forgotten, until now. As the Examiner writes; Here is the complete text of the long awaited report on graft in San Francisco by investigator Edwin N. Atherton as it was made public yesterday by Superior Judge George J. Steiger. INTRODUCTION - by Edwin N. Atherton On November 21,1935, I commenced an investigation into charges of graft in the San Francisco Police Department, pursuant to employment by you (District Attorney Matt C. Brady) and under authority of an ordinance enacted September 23, 1935. As you know, at the time of my employment, the firm of Atherton and Dunn was being organized and, shortly afterwards, the investigation was taken over by this firm. This investigation continued actively for more than a year with no new lines of inquiry being undertaken after December 1, 1936. All activity has now been definitely terminated so we are submitting this as a final report on the case. The total amount of money received by us for our fees, salaries and expenses, including supplemental services performed up to and including January 31, 1937 is 60,660.84. A complete statement of disbursements, together with vouchers, is being submitted under a separate cover. Purpose of Report In preparing this report, no attempt shall be made to review the investigation step by step as it would be an almost endless task to detail the work during the past year and would serve no practical purpose. The object of the report shall simply be to set forth certain findings in connection with the volume and extent of police graft, sum up the results of a concrete nature and make such comments and observations as may seem pertinent and constructive. Objectives of the Investigation Instructions given to us at the beginning of this case were to investigate the allegations of graft in the San Francisco Police Department and to develop as much in the way of facts and evidence as possible on this subject. We were permitted to outline our own procedure so we determined upon a three-point program, as follows: 1 - To ascertain whether there was a substantial foundation for the allegations against the department. 2 - To purge the department of the maximum number of corrupt officers. 3 – To prosecute such officers wherever possible. The first objective was, of course, a fundamental one, with action on the other two largely contingent thereon, so it had to be determined first. In this regard it might be pointed out that there was apparently no specific, dependable data available on the volume and extent of the alleged corruption or on the identities of the sources and beneficiaries of such corruption, if any. Therefore we had to start from "scratch" and develop these data ourselves as a predicate for any further action one way or the other. In this connection it was our intention to recommend against continuance of the inquiry if it were found that there was only limited amount of graft and that only a few members of the department were corrupt. This was considered the practical position to take because of the realization that no police department in a large metropolitan center is, or probably can be made, entirely free of graft. Therefore we felt we would not be justified in carrying out an extensive investigation of a situation which did not present a serious problem. As you know, the revelations produced by the first phase of the investigation reflected such a grave condition in the police department that we were not called upon to decide whether or not the undertaking should be continued. This question was answered by the public and press, which demanded vigorously that the investigation go on. In proceeding with objective No. 1 of our program, we naturally knew from experience that police graft has its origin in vice activities and other unlawful enterprises or "rackets." In other words, that persons engaged in violating the law must pay so-called "protection money" for the privilege of doing business. We therefore took a survey of these activities in order to ascertain the location, approximate number, volume of business and the identity of the operators. This survey was not as exhaustive as it might have been and did not go into some activities as well as others, due to our comparatively small staff and the persistent pressure on us to produce indictments. If we had been engaged simply in assembling data for a "Wickersham Report" we would have covered the field more thoroughly and in greater detail. However, it was sufficiently comprehensive to provide an illuminating background for the entire graft picture. At this stage it should be pointed out that, when we were employed we were informed this investigation was not intended be a moral crusade in the sense that it should bring about the closing of unlawful businesses, as such a course was contrary to the desires of the great majority of San Franciscans. From previous residence in the city, we were aware that the bulk of the people wanted a so-called "open town" and that the history of San Francisco reflected a public attitude of broadmindedness, liberality and tolerance, comparable probably to only two other American cities, namely, New York and New Orleans. Consequently, we readily accepted this policy and adhered strictly to it throughout the investigation. In fact, on several occasions, we took issue openly with the police department when it sought to close certain districts and activities for reasons which did not impress us as being sincere. This is not as paradoxical as it may appear, for we felt, and still do, that the people should, and can, have any type of city they wish without being subjected to police extortion for the privilege. In retrospect, we sometimes question whether the policy followed was a sound on. It probably was a double-edged sword, having both advantages and disadvantages. In any event comment shall be continued to the former feature for the moment. This policy enabled us to gain the confidence of many people among the so-called "sporting element" and in the underworld who "opened up" and talked frankly to us about the graft situation generally as well as their own individual dealings with police officers and the others who participate in the corrupt system. This is mentioned here in explanation of, and as the source and foundation for, some of the findings and observations set forth in this report. In other words, our subsequent statements are not based on fantasy surmise or conjecture, but on first-hand information given us by many people with a variety in that "world" which is preyed upon by the forces of graft. The information supplied us by these people has been supplemented by other information given us by active and former members of the San Francisco Police Department, reputable citizens who have come in contact with one form or another of this corruption, and by our own independent investigation. An incidental reason for mentioning the policy discussed above is to answer, through you, the many anonymous letters and telephone calls giving us addresses of and information on many illegal establishments and asking that we take steps to close them. It was quite obvious, from these communications, that many people did not understand our position in this matter. Volume and Extent of Vice and Police Corruption in San Francisco We found that there were approximately 135 regular, old established locations in San Francisco where prostitution was carried on. We have addresses and photographs, together with the names of the property owners, licensees and landladies, or male operators to support this statement, in the great majority of instances. These places were concentrated largely in three police districts, with a scattering few elsewhere, as follows: Central, 76 Ellis-Polk, 45 Southern, 9 Western addition, 4 Mission, 1 In the Central District, within one police beat alone – the one covering Kearny Street from California to Broadway, and formerly patrolled by Officers David J. Dillon and Joseph S. Murray – There were twelve houses of prostitution. All of these twelve resorts, plus several others on different streets, were within a radius of three blocks of the Hall of Justice. There were 5 houses in one block on this street and it was not unusual, in several localities, to find two or more in one block. A considerable number of the locations in the northern end of the Central district were Oriental houses, that is, where white girls serve an Oriental trade exclusively. Police control rarely permits the mixing of white and Oriental customers, undoubtedly because of the danger of brawls and violence which would attract public attention and necessitate aggressive action toward closing the places. Outside of the Kearny-north Beach area, the balance of the houses of prostitution, in the Central district, were mostly contained within that section frequently described as the downtown "tenderloin." Houses of prostitution have been so plentiful in a section of the North Beach area that tenants in some buildings have been forced to put signs on their front doors announcing the fact they are private residences. In the Ellis-Polk district, there was a scattering of these houses with the heaviest concentration in the Fillmore area. There were some Oriental houses also in this district. In the Southern district, these establishments were confined, in the main, to the first two blocks on Sixth Street. In the Western Addition, Steiner Street was the popular location for these places but they were not operating very regularly during the investigation. This form of prostitution in San Francisco was found to be in the hands of foreign-born people, mostly French and Russian or German Jews, with the French greatly predominating. This nationality appeared to have a class of people who were born to this business and carried it on as a family "profession" with a definite code of conduct. A great number, if not the majority of them, were residing illegally in this country and were in such constant dread of being deported that they lived a sort of furtive, undercover life within their own circle. In addition, they were very susceptible to fear of physical vengeance with the result that they were extremely suspicious and non-communicative. Very few violated the cardinal principle of their code, which is, DO NOT TALK. They have some basis for this fear for one of their number was murdered and mutilated several years ago because he was guilty of a "breach of ethics." This crime has never been officially solved. In view of these circumstances, it was not surprising to find that the French group, or "syndicate" as it is sometimes referred to by the sporting fraternity, and become the most highly organized unit in the entire graft set-up. Americans engaged in the prostitution business were, as a class, much less suspicious and therefore more accessible and more amenable to reason. Some of them were quite willing to discuss matters very freely and frankly with us at any time. They did not have the same fear of physical violence as the foreigners but they were afraid to identify themselves with this investigation for business reasons. They asserted that the French were given more liberties and favors by the police and were gradually crowding them out, expressed resentment at this foreign "invasion" and felt that "home industry" should receive greater protection. One of the "organizers," and also one of the most dominant figures in the French "syndicate," was a Corsican named Joseph Ondella, also known as Fernand LeCorse, and general referred to as Fernand. He was subservient to McDonough Brothers and was used by them to 'take care" of situations which arose in the French vice colony. One of Fernand's assignments from McDonough Brothers was to use every means to stop Abel Ducayla from testifying in the criminal cases against Officers Murray and Dillon. He was ably supported by McDonough Brothers and they were eventually successful in this mission to thwart justice. Fernand made his headquarters in the Bachelor's buffet, 667 Clay street, wherein was also the office of Jerry Franklin. This place was regarded as a clearinghouse for the transaction of business of the French syndicate and for graft payments and collections. He had a woman who operated a house of prostitution over the Buffet and, at the time of writing, was still in business there. Fernand is now on trial before the United States Immigration Service on charges, which, if proven, will result in his deportation from the United States. We considered it within the scope of this investigation to cooperate with the Immigration Service in this, and other cases of a similar nature, as we felt it would be a distinct service to San Francisco if Fernand, a sinister figure in the vice and graft ring, were banished from the country. Federal perjury charges have been filed against Fernand for allegedly giving false testimony at his Immigration hearing. Jerry Franklin was formerly associated with, and was known as the successor to Harry Muller and Ralph Risso, alias "son-bouche," both of whom are now deceased. He took over the mantle of his predecessors as one of the principle handlers of "protection money" from vice sources in the city. All three of the individuals engaged in the bail bond business but it was generally understood that they merely acted as agents for McDonough Brothers. When this investigation showed signs of pointing in his direction, at about the time of the arrests of Officer Dillon and Murray and the latter's confessions, Franklin disappeared. The Boomerang Café, Kearny and Columbus avenue, formerly conducted by the Dougherty Brothers, was the same type of place as that described immediately above. Frank "Fat" Dougherty had died but his brother, Jack, conducted the business at the same location until quite recently. Paddy O'Hearn, who made his headquarters in an upstairs poolroom on Fillmore street near O'Farrell, was a well-known "collector" in the Ellis- Polk district. Abie Adler, who, with his wife, Annie, conducted a house of prostitution at 1201 Webster street, also handled collections and, other assignments for McDonough Brothers. In referring to McDonough Brothers from time to time in this report, we do not do so in the literal sense of meaning Peter P. McDonough and Thomas McDonough. We refer to the organization which the name represents. Thomas McDonough is not active in the business and was away from San Francisco during a considerable period of the investigation. In fact he is not always taken into the confidence of those who are running the business. The directing heads of the organization are Peter P. McDonough and Harry Rice, a nephew, with the latter taking over more control as time goes on. George Poultney, representative of the firm at the Federal Building, has been quite active in various ways. Under the pseudonym, "Dick the Rounder," he has contributed a series of scurrilous articles attacking the investigation and persons connected with it, to a weekly newspaper belonging to that particular class of yellow journalism which specializes in vicious personal attacks of a libelous nature. It is published in the East Bay area and has been subsidized by McDonough Brothers. This firm also retains its own lawyer, Byron C. Parker, on the premises, to take care of its hundreds of misdemeanor cases, involving prostitutes, gamblers and others. During the investigation Parker rented one room next to your office in the Scatona Building. He keeps this room to give himself an office address and telephone listing away from the McDonough Brothers. It is simply a blind. No business is transacted there and the telephone calls are handled by a proxy service. McDonough Brothers was found to be a fountainhead of corruption, willing to interest itself in almost any matter designed to defeat or circumvent the law. It has many tentacles reaching throughout the city government in the form of officials and employees in key positions to take care of almost any contingency. It has certain police officers, such as sergeant Clarence Byrne, whose first allegiance is to McDonough Brothers, and who devote a considerable portion of their time to attending to the interests of this firm. No one can conduct a prostitution or gambling enterprise in San Francisco without direct or indirect approval of the McDonough Brothers. Anyone engaged in these activities, who incurs the firm's disfavor, is sooner or later forced out of business. The power of McDonough Brothers exerts itself over the police department much the same manner. An officer who seeks to enforce the law honestly is regarded as a "snake in the grass" and no opportunity is overlooked to sabotage his career. On the contrary, an officer who is "right" with this firm can depend on a helping hand whenever he may need it. McDonough Brothers has expended much effort, time and money over the years to implant the thought in the minds of the underworld and police officers that it is the supreme authority in San Francisco. This campaign has born fruit and those two classes of people look upon the institution at Clay and Kearny streets with an exaggerated feeling of awe. Judging from its activities in some of the criminal cases resulting from the investigation, McDonough Brothers apparently felt its prestige would suffer if a police officer were convicted. It went to great extremes to aid the defense in the Dillon and Murray cases. In fact it was the long hand of McDonough Brothers which clamped the lips of Abel Ducayla. McDonough Brothers has developed a virtual "corner" on the Bail bonds business in San Francisco and is constantly seeking to "freeze out" what little competition is left. The fact that keepers of illegal businesses "pay off" does not give them complete immunity from arrest. The police department must make arrests from time to time for record purposes or, "to polish the buzzer." Bookmaking is the victim of policy more than any other forms of law violations. When a bookmaking establishment is raided, the keeper, his agent or one of the arresting officers telephones McDonough brothers, from the premises, giving the number, names and charges against the arrested persons. McDonough Brothers then prepares the bonds and releases so that the individuals are turned loose immediately after being booked upon their arrival at the jail. They rarely ever see the inside of a cell, as the small bonds are forfeited and they resume business as usual. McDonough Brothers provides a very prompt service for these people, with credit accounts for some patrons and a Yellow Cab regularly stationed at its front door to carry out releases for those taken to police stations away from the Hall of Justice. Because of its police connections, McDonough Brothers is often able to "tip off" proprietors of such establishments of contemplated raids so that only one or two minor individuals may be on the premises and there is no evidence of actual betting when the officers arrive. According to our sources of information described above, the approximately 135 places where prostitution was practiced had to pay for this privilege. Included in this number were several hotels too large to be devoted exclusively to this purpose which did a legitimate rooming business besides supplying girls. Such a place, for example, was the Oakland Hotel, 551 Kearny Street. As a general rule such places were not required to pay as much as the others. In the past, persons intending to open a house of prostitution were usually required to pay an initial or opening fee, which varied in amount but frequently ran from $500 to $750.At the same time the regular monthly 'payoff' was fixed and the time and manner of payment prescribed. These arrangements were usually made with some of the persons mentioned above and sometimes directly with police officers. According to the figures given us, the latter "payoff" ran from $200 to $250 per month with some instances of higher amounts being assessed. This main "payoff" was levied arbitrarily and distributed among the captain and sometimes other superior officers in the district, the special detail and the civilian interests, which jointly controlled this racket. In addition, the operators were also called upon to "take care" of the patrolman on the beat. They were permitted to make their own individual arrangements with these officers and the amounts usually ran from ten dollars per month upward, depending largely on the greediness of the officer, with $15 per month to each of the two night men a common figure. There were also "special assessments" from time to time which will be referred to later. In order to strike an ultra-conservative estimate of the average total monthly sum extorted from each house of prostitution, we are reducing the above figure to $200 per month. By computing this figure with the number of resorts mentioned, namely 135, it will be seen that the monthly "protection" revenue from regular houses of prostitution alone was $27,000 or $324,00 per year. The foregoing is only one phase of the prostitution situation. There were, in addition, countless apartments where two or three girls operated independently, as well as numerous "call houses" conducted in apartment buildings and "call girls" working out of such buildings and hotels. The first group mentioned in the preceding paragraph was required to "pay off" in practically all cases. We obtained the names and addresses of many of these operators but they were too numerous and scattered for an accurate census and it would simply be hazarding a guess to make an estimate. The number of these places was greater than the established houses but the proportionate amount of their "payoff" was less, as they usually had to deal only with the officers with whom they came in more or less direct contact, such as the special duty men (now abolished), the beat men, an sometimes the patrol sergeants. We would not attempt to estimate the total amount of this "payoff" beyond offering what we consider to be a safe minimum figure of $5000 per month, or $60,000 per year. Tenants engaged in prostitution were usually required to pay more rent than others in the same buildings and it not infrequently occurred that apartment house managers and police officers had working arrangements whereby they kept each other informed of the activities and movements of these woman for their mutual financial gain. The "call girls" mentioned in the second paragraph above for several reasons, such as being more refined in their appearance and manner, living in more exclusive and secluded apartments and catering to a limited, high class clientele, were generally able to escape police detection and thereby avoid the "payoff" so that the illicit revenue from this form of prostitution was comparatively negligible. A few hotels where "call girls" resided paid small sums to beat men and charged the girls proportionately higher rates. Another substantial form of prostitution is that provided by the vast number of "street walkers" or "hustlers" in San Francisco. Here again it was impossible, from this type of investigation, to arrive at an accurate estimate of the number. The majority of these girls were compelled to pay the officers on whose beat they worked. If they failed to do so they were harassed to the point of distraction. This class of prostitute comprised the most unfortunate and pitiful of any and the experience of some of these women with police abuse and extortion were heartrending. On the basis of the very conservative figures set forth above, it is easily seen how prostitution alone can contribute at least $400,000 to the annual graft toll. We found that normally about 150 bookmaking establishments operated in San Francisco. There were many more places where bets could be placed with agents but only the locations where handbooks were actually maintained were included in this figure. We obtained the names and addresses of approximately 300 individuals and places of business where bookmaking had been conducted during the past several years. Not all of these books had been open at the same time. You will recall that Lieutenant Ludolph, during the course of his recent trial, testified that bookmaking "joints" were as common as grocery stores in San Francisco. This was an exaggerated statement of course, but it gave an indication of the extent of this business. Our survey disclosed that books are usually conducted with very little effort at concealment, the favorite locations being cigar stores or stands or the rear of saloons and poolrooms. They operated in greatest numbers in the downtown sections, but many others were scattered throughout the city in the various community centers. Bookmakers accept bets on horse races anywhere in the country and on dog races when the dog tracks are running in this vicinity. Many of them accept bets as low as 50 cents as against a two-dollar minimum at the tracks, and they do a tremendous gross volume of business. They pay a regular fee to the Nation Wide News Service for fast wire reports on the results of the races in California and elsewhere in the country. Bookmakers were compelled to pay the police for the privilege of doing business. Their total "payoff" was very substantial, being next to that of prostitution, and therefore the second largest in amount. Their individual "payoffs" were much smaller in comparison inasmuch as they were much more intelligent as a class and were not organized and dominated by a civilian group to the same extent as the houses of prostitution. Generally they only had to pay the police officers in whose districts they were operating and therefore varied more widely. The main "payoff" formerly went to the special details to be divided as indicated above under prostitution. A fair average estimate of this amount would be $100 per month. In addition, the day patrolman had to be given from $10 to $20 per month. When there was racing at any of the California tracks requiring the books to remain open after 4 p.m. or if the dogs were being "booked" in the evening, the patrolman on the first night watch was also "looked after" to the tune, on the average, of about $10. In some cases the patrolman divided these collections with their sergeants but in others an additional allowance was made to the latter. A very conservative average of the individual bookmaker's "payoff" would be $100 per month. Taking 150 as the maximum number of bookmakers, at this rate the total monthly "payoff" would be $15,000 or $180,000 annually. Another lucrative prey for police extortion were the lotteries. This form of gambling has an unusual popularity in San Francisco and is much more widespread and extensive here than in the great majority of American cities. There were several large American lotteries as well as a countless number of Chinese ones. Many of the latter were small and "sneaked" to avoid the police demands for "payoff." We have considerable data on the lottery situation but not sufficient to justify a close estimate of the number of operators or the approximate total "payoff." However, the information we have obtained indicates that it is a substantial sum of money. One of the largest lottery operators was called before the grand jury but declined to answer questions concerning police graft on the ground he might incriminate himself. There were many public gambling houses which operated as chartered social clubs for members only. This was usually just a sham as identification was rarely, if ever, required and the only qualification for membership was the ability to purchase a stack of chips. Both legal and illegal games were permitted in these places. Some of them had a perfect "sucker" set-up, with two or more "house men" playing in each game. These places generally paid for police protection. You will recall that persons connected with the operation of three of these clubs were subpoenaed before the grand jury and declined to answer questions on the grounds they might incriminate themselves. Slot machines contributed a large amount to the graft pool and racketeers in this field have probably "put over" the biggest individual deals of any other. However, an effective police drive against these machines in the fall of 1935 reduced them to a negligible quantity so that this racket was not an important issue during the course of the investigation. I am not referring to pin ball machines, of course, as there were thousands of these in the city. They were universally used as a petty gambling device but I do not believe they were generally subject to police assessment. The manufacture and sale of illicit liquor, wine and beer was a succulent source of graft revenue until the Eighteenth Amendment and the Wright Act were repealed. The North Beach and Mission districts came in for a large share. After repeal, saloons remaining open during the legally proscribed closing hours and "speakeasies" were still required to pay for this privilege. It sometimes became necessary for the police to close an illegal establishment because of the complaints of neighbors or due to some serious disturbance on the premises. This was usually a friendly transaction with the proprietor being allowed a reasonable length of time to find another location. According to our informants, police officers have actually found the new locations or told the proprietors where one was available in some of these cases. The investigation reflects that a great many illegal abortions were performed in San Francisco and that a considerable number of persons were engaged in this business. It is difficult to estimate the volume of illegal abortions per year but it can be safely stated that they run into the thousands. We know the identity of the abortionists who handled the greater part of local business and who were not included among these recently prosecuted and convicted in Los Angeles. This is a racket, and a dangerous one, because extremely few licensed physicians and surgeons will perform an illegal abortion. Consequently a majority of the illegal abortions are performed by men and women with no education or license to entitle them to practice medicine or surgery. In order to maintain a lucrative practice they must have outside contacts to refer patients to them. The common sources of patients in San Francisco are druggists, drug clerks and physicians and surgeons who are themselves unwilling to perform illegal abortions. Detail men and women are employed by the abortionists to keep in contact with these sources in order to maintain the flow of business. According to persons who have engaged in this unlawful practice there was a definite and regular police "payoff" for protection. Two instances came to our attention wherein even inspectors of the State Board of Medical Examiners had been corrupted. Neither one of these men is at present connected with the State board. The homicide detail of the Bureau of Inspectors is charged with the duty of investigating violations of the law in this field. A few months ago local police, in conjunction with law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and Portland rounded up a coast-wide syndicate of abortionists. Members of this ring were indicted in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. The case was prosecuted in Los Angeles, with your office and the local police assisting the district attorney of the county. Some of those convicted had operated locally and a very impressive showing was made in the case. However, this ring, as a group, was controlled and directed by persons comparatively new to this territory and regarded as interlopers by the old established operators locally and in the other cities mentioned. Independent abortionists, who were not affiliated with this combine and among whose number were some of the oldest, largest and most notorious "practitioners" in San Francisco, were not disturbed by this foray. Some of the officers of the crime prevention detail of the Bureau of Inspectors had made it a practice to harass, or "roust" (to use the vernacular), panderers and other questionable characters in the so- called underworld until these worthies found it much more to their advantage to "pay off." The $1,000 vag" law, which enables police to pick up a person for almost no reason, lends itself readily to "shakedowns." During the course of this investigation we were informed that thieves and possessors of stolen goods obtained immunity by "paying off" to inspectors assigned to the duty of investigating burglaries and other forms of theft and of recovering stolen merchandise. Graft was not entirely confined to unlawful activities. Their success in this field had emboldened officers and others to tackle legitimate business. For instance, a local citizen and substantial property holder gave us a statement of which the following is a resume: Along with several partners, whose financial contribution was small because they were mainly interested in the operation of the business, he invested approximately $30,000 in a combination restaurant, bar and night club. Shortly after the place was opened and it began to appear that the venture would be a success, he was told that it was customary to make payments to the police. Owners of similar establishment in the same area informed him that they paid $75 per month to the special detail. In addition he was told that "it would be to his interest" to give 10 per cent to the business of the McDonough Brothers who were represented as having "police connections." This was to be accomplished by giving an extra 10 per cent interest to one of the partners, who was admittedly in the employ of McDonough Brothers. He was further advised that all police problems would be taken care of by this group and that necessary permits, which might otherwise be denied by the police commission, could be easily obtained. It was intimated that, if a portion of the business were not assigned as suggested, the police would harass the patrons and management. It became patent to our informant that he could not successfully remain in business and protect his investment unless he bowed to these "suggestions," so he executed a document submitted to him by Byron C. Parker, an attorney employed in the office of McDonough Brothers, which conveyed 10 per cent of the business to this group. Subsequently difficulty was still encountered in securing liquor and dance permits from the Police Commission and Peter P. McDonough advised him to retain a certain lawyer. He did this on a fixed fee basis but shortly afterwards this lawyer asked for more money on the representation he had to pay it out to facilitate the issuance of the permits. He became disgusted by this time and declined to proceed further in this matter. His applications for permits were later denied. He was therefore, not able to reopen the place of business and has consequently suffered a heavy financial loss. This man was ready and willing to testify before the grand jury. However, a witness, necessary to corroborate certain portions of his testimony, was out of the State and could not be subpoenaed. He was interviewed and orally confirmed these statements of our informant but he would not return to San Francisco. Certain garages were given preference to the point of having a virtual monopoly on tow car service in accident cases. When police responding to an accident call arrived at the scene they saw to it that the preferred garages in their respective districts got the job of towing in the disabled machines. The standard "payoff" in cases of this kind was $2.50 which obliged the garage man to charge the customer $5 whereas ordinarily if no "payoff" were required, he would only charge half that amount. In relating some of his experiences in this connection, one garage man told us that not infrequently he had found police officers waiting at the garage to receive their "payoff" when he arrived there with the disabled car. Garages providing tow car service usually maintained short wave radio sets with loud speakers constantly tuned in on the police broadcasts. When an accident call was heard they endeavored not only to beat competitors to the scene, but also to get there ahead of the police so the latter could not interfere with the effort to close a deal. A garage man informed us that several times he had been forced to relinquish cars after his service had already been retained by the owner because of police pressure in favor of a competitor. A small merchant informed one of our investigators that he was forced to pay a certain patrolman on his beat $3.50 per week for the privilege of playing a radio on the sidewalk in front of his store. This officer consistently harassed him with complaints that the radio was noisy and a nuisance until he submitted to a proposition. We shall comment only briefly on petty graft, as it was not regarded as the real subject of this investigation and was only given incidental attention. However, it is practiced on a wide scale by police officers who, as a class, seem to feel they should be exempt from paying their way like other members of the community. They expect free meals, free drinks, passes to sporting events, theater and other amusements, etc. It is said that a "smart" officer only pays when it is unavoidable. A typical case was recited by the wife of an officer, who informed us that her husband not only received groceries, liquors, household goods and supplies free of charge, but clothes and even free medical and dental and optician's services for himself and members of his family. They grant all sorts of favors and concessions for rewards in cash or presents of various kinds. This habit has become so universal that it is accepted by numerous people without any particular thought or notice. However, it is burdensome and the cause of much annoyance to many citizens. It lowers public respect and sometimes creates contempt for the uniform. Furthermore, by making a "moocher" out of man, it tends to break down his character and is oftentimes the stepping-stone to participation in major corruption. Reference was made above to "special assessments." During local political campaigns the police department was an organized and powerful electioneering force. Members of the department were not only responsible for many thousands of votes for the favored candidates and measures, but they aided materially in raising campaign funds. Proprietors of illegal business were canvassed and informed that contributions were expected. In many cases the amount of the contribution was arbitrarily fixed and the proprietors paid it as a special item separate and apart from their regular tribute. The annual Police Ball for benefit of the Widow's and Orphan's Fund, a very worthy cause, has been much abused and maligned because of the methods of some officers in selling tickets. These officers did not ask, but told, law violators how many tickets they should buy and the latter had to take them and like it. In some cases the tickets were sold several times as the buyers were advised that they would have no use for them and had better give them back. Whether the proceeds of these repeat sales were turned into the fund or not is questionable. Some of the statements herein may be surprising and perhaps incredible to a great many people who believe that police graft is confined to prostitution and the various forms of gambling. However, upon analysis, it is not difficult to understand. Corruption will break down the moral fiber of any man. A police officer who becomes accustomed to accepting money to close his eyes to one form of law violation will not have any delicate qualms of conscience when offered the opportunity of profiting likewise from another. Bribe taking, like any other practice is, is very habit forming. The occasional furtive acceptance of money by an officer at some early stage of his career sooner or later develops into a habit of taking anything and everything that is offered. In many cases it reaches a point eventually where he not only accepts, but demands money, thereby becoming both a bribe-taker and an extortionist. Corruption had advanced to such a point in the San Francisco Police Department that many officers looked upon the revenue from graft as a definitely established and recognized emolument or perquisite of the job and resented the impudence of anyone who presumed to suggest otherwise. We are almost convinced that some of these officers had become so conscience-hardened that they o longer saw anything improper in this practice but had justified it, by various convenient forms of reasoning in their own minds. Many of them took the position that they would be regarded as "saps" if they did not do what everyone else, who had a chance, was doing. They argued that a policeman who did not take money was a fool because he received no credit for being honest but, on the contrary, found it slower and more difficult to secure promotion in. Service (to some extent), an ability to pass the examinations and political influence were the essentials to promotion, with the latter an important consideration. They contended that men were not classified according to moral stature in the police department; that every man was honest until he got caught and the chances of this occurring to any given individual were extremely unlikely for several reasons: First, the police department was a sort of fraternity with an unwritten law that no man should inform on another; second, that the ones from whom he received money would not inform on him for fear of reprisals; third, that if these first two insurance features failed and he actually had to face charges, his brother officers would rally to his defense in sufficient force to "beat" the case. Disregarding the petty forms of graft and special collections, it will be noted from the above statements that police corruption attained a very imposing figure in dollars. Computed conservatively, the only conclusion to be reached is that it approximated, if it did not exceed, $1,000,000 a year. The greater part of this money was divided among members of the police department with the great bulk of this share, until recently, going to the captains and special duty men. A lesser, but substantial portion, went to the comparatively small civilian group which participated in the control of graft, particularly in the field of prostitution. The above comments refer to normal times, or, in other words, before the investigation started. During the past year revenue from graft has diminished tremendously. The abolition of the Special Detail system brought about a substantial reduction in the total "payoff." Collections were passed up in many cases because of fear of detection while the investigation was going on. Officers became cautious: avoided some of the chances previously taken and refrained from "doing business" with people in whom they did not have implicit confidence. In order to create good will, some followed the course of "romancing" persons, whom they ordinarily demanded money from by telling them they knew the investigation was hurting their business so they need not "pay off." Numerous houses of prostitution were instructed to curtail the number of girls ordinarily employed and they were compensated for this to some extent by a reduced "payoff." Some houses of prostitution were closed entirely from time to time when police strategy deemed this the advisable course to follow. The elimination of special duty may have a permanent effect in lowering the overhead of illegal businesses. However, the other factors which contributed to reducing the volume of graft payments were merely temporary and will afford no lasting relief. In fact it is my opinion that this corruption will increase as time goes on rather than diminish unless some intelligent, practical plan is evolved to remove the opportunity for graft. It is generally conceded, even by those persons who have opposed and bitterly criticized this investigation that it has made a more determined attack on the citadel of graft and has inspired more alarm and fear in the ranks of corruption than any similar local undertaking in a great many years. In spite of this graft continued on a reduced, but nonetheless substantial scale, throughout the investigation. Under the circumstances it is only reasonable to expect that it will increase now that the deterring influence of the investigation has ended. Any unhealthy condition will like a disease, become worse and spread to others who come in contact with it unless the cause is found and removed. Many persons not reached by this investigation will henceforth be bolder and more arrogant than heretofore until their activities result in a major scandal and force the citizens to take drastic action. One of the saddest consequences of widespread systematic police graft is the fact that in one way or another it absorbs so many fine young men. There are some men of inherent dishonesty who enter the police department because of the opportunity it offers to make "easy money" with comparative security. Unfortunately it seems that a limited number of men of this type must be expected but they are very much in the minority. The majority of young men who enter the department are honorable individuals with good intentions. However, after they have "picked up an envelope" a few times for a sergeant, listened to the exploits of their dishonest brothers while being described as fools for not doing likewise, and have observed how these same brothers get ahead in the department as well and frequently much better because of political preferment, they succumb by degree and eventually become as bad as the others There is another category of men who are made of sterner stuff and resist efforts to corrupt them but are finally "broken on the wheel" and forced to take the program of organized graft. In this connection an officer cannot remain very long on a beat which comprises much illegal activity and retain his honesty. If he persistently refuses to take money, he arouses suspicion, is regarded as dangerous and the fine hand of politics arranges for his transfer elsewhere. Men have gone to "the fog" or have been given undesirable and spirit-breaking assignments for resisting the demands of the corruptionists. Corruption among a substantial section of the personnel has a destructive influence on the entire department. It breeds jealousy and resentment between the men, creates factions and causes some to have little or no respect for others. Morale naturally breaks down under these circumstances. Discipline suffers likewise. How can a captain, or other superior officer, enforce the rules and regulations of the department and hold his men to strict accountability in the discharge of their duties if he is engaged in a conspiracy with them to violate the law and they are sharing the resultant loot together? How can an officer enforce the law without fear or favor when he is at the mercy of all the law violators who have him on their payroll? A police department is a semi-military unit, comparable in certain respects to the army. No organization can function at it maximum efficiency without a full measure of moral and discipline and these elements are even more indispensable in a law enforcement agency. The practice of many officers of closing their eyes to law violations for a monetary consideration has developed a prejudice against the entire department in he minds of numerous people. This is exceedingly unfortunate because the police department should command the highest respect of the people at all times. Law enforcement is one of the most fundamental and important of our governmental functions. It should be above suspicion and recognized as an honorable field for the performance of public service so as to attract the best available young manhood. If, through corruption, it comes into disrepute and loses public esteem, it cannot accomplish this end and the class of personnel will deteriorate. There is no denying the fact that police officers are subjected to more temptation than men in almost any other line of endeavor. It should also be expected that in an organization of some thirteen hundred men there will be dishonest individuals and others of low moral resistance. Police officers are called upon to enforce certain laws, born of hypocrisy, which are unpopular with many people and therefore openly flouted by them. They are in the paradoxical position in San Francisco of having certain laws to enforce which are in direct conflict with the inherent desire of the people for an "open town." These are some of the conditions and circumstances which create graft and which make it necessary, unfortunate though it may be, to expect and resign ourselves to a certain amount of corruption of individual members of the police department. However, it is not a valid reason, nor even an excuse, for the widespread corruption in the San Francisco Police Department. We have made this last statement several times during the course of the investigation. It is not very specific, but we do not care to offer any certain figures as the approximate number, or percentage, of police personnel involved in the corruption as it might appear an exaggeration. We have in our files written statements asserting "payoffs" to more than 50 police officers. We were unable to ask for criminal or police commission action against these officers for a variety of reasons, but largely because there was insufficient corroborative evidence available. In addition, we have been told orally of "payoffs' involving several times as many more officers. In this same connection it should also be borne in mind that two retired police captains, namely Stephen V. Bunner and Patrick N. Herlihy, fled from their homes and remained in hiding throughout the investigation so that process servers were never able to locate them for grand jury appearances. From comments heretofore it might appear to some critics that we are cynical and have an "anti-police" complex to the point where we dislike and distrust all police officers. Such is not the case. In the course of law enforcement service we have had occasion to work with police officers in many places and have numbered quite a few friends among them. A police officers job is far from being a simple one and we have some appreciation of his problems. There are men of honor and integrity in the San Francisco Police Department and we have the utmost respect for them. We have conversed with some of these men. They have nothing but contempt for their fellow officers who have traduced the uniform and they fervently hoped that this investigation would fully accomplish its objectives. We have frequently called attention to the fact that there are many men of this caliber in the department. To these loyal, conscientious men, who have lived up to their oaths of office under extremely trying circumstances, we express keen regret if any of them have been caused any embarrassment by this investigation. Results Accomplished By the Investigation The results directly attributable to this investigation are set forth at this time for record purposes. The following officers were removed from the department by dismissal, except as otherwise indicated: CENTRAL DISTRICT 1- Frederick Lemon, captain. 2- Patrick Shannon, Sergeant, special duty man. 3- Patrick Walsh, patrolman, special duty man. 4- Joseph M. Brouders, patrolman, special duty man. 5- George Lillis, patrolman, special duty man. 6- Edward Christal, patrolman, special duty man. 7- Joseph S. Murray, patrolman former special duty man (resigned). SOUTHERN STATION 8- Thomas N. Hoertkorn, captain. 9- Alex Mino, patrolman, special duty man. HARBOR DISTRICT 10- Arthur De Gure, captain. 11- Peter A. MacIntyre, lieutenant. 12- James B. Miles, patrolman, special duty man (resigned). ELLIS-POLK DISTRICT 13- Joseph Mignola, lieutenant. 14- Arthur O'Brien, patrolman. BAYVIEW DISTRICT 15- Thomas G. Roche, Lieutenant. CHIEF"S OFFICE 16- James H. Coleman, patrolman (retired). All of the above dismissals were ordered by the police commission after the men named had been found guilty off unofficerlike conduct. In all but two cases, this charge was founded on the refusal of the officers to testify before the grand jury when called for examination on their assets and financial transactions. They were cited to appear before the presiding judge of the Superior Court and ordered by the court to return to the grand jury and testify or else face action for contempt. In order to escape jail sentences for contempt, they eventually availed themselves of their constitutional privilege of declining to answer questions on the ground they might incriminate themselves. Captains Lemon and Hoertkorn were actually arrested and jailed but purged themselves of contempt by exercising this privilege. The action taken against sergeant Patrick Shannon was based on the same situation and the additional charge that he gave false testimony before the grand jury. Shannon testified on his first appearance before the grand jury but became mute when recalled for further examination. The case against lieutenant Thomas G. Roche was based on false testimony given before the grand jury. The following officers were indicted for criminal offenses by the grand jury: 1 - Henry H. Ludolph, lieutenant, Harbor District. 2 - James B. Miles, patrolman, Harbor District. (These two men comprised the Special Detail in the Harbor District.) 3 - David J. Dillon patrolman, Central District 4 – Joseph S. Murray, patrolman, Central District. 5 – George Burkhard, patrolman, Central District. The first four of the above-named officers were indicted for offenses involving bribery and the last named for perjury in giving testimony before the grand jury. Indictments involving bribery were also found by the grand jury against two civilians and these cases are now pending. Joseph S. Murray was tried and acquitted, on a directed verdict, when the State's principal witness, Abel Ducayla, refused to testify on the ground he might incriminate himself. The prosecution proceeded no further when Ducayla took this position, as his testimony was stated to be essential to establish a corpus delicti. Because of this technicality, we were unable to introduce three sworn confessions made at different times by Murray and a fourth statement made by him to his commanding officer, in which he admitted receiving bribes from Ducayla to permit prostitution at the Oakland Hotel in San Francisco. Subsequently, on the day he was scheduled to appear for trial before the Police Commission, Murray resigned from the department. Officer James B. Miles, when first called before the grand jury, refused to testify on the grounds that he might incriminate himself and, on the following day, resigned from the department. Subsequently he changed his mind and requested to withdraw his resignation. The commission held that he would first have to return and testify before the grand jury. He complied with this decision but before any action could be taken in his case he was indicted. He is presently awaiting trial on the criminal charge and his status is evidently that of a private citizen. The retirement of patrolman James H. Coleman can be directly traced to this investigation despite the fact his application was based on physical disability. Coleman was on a special one man assignment out of the chief's office, unofficially referred to as the Immigration Detail, for a number of years and was notorious as the "guardian angel" of the French vice colony. Shortly after the grand jury sessions started, when it became apparent he would be called before that body, Coleman very quietly applied for and was granted retirement and fled the jurisdiction. Despite the fact that the police department broadcast an appeal for him to return, he has remained in hiding throughout the investigation and has failed to collect his pension checks, which have now reached a sum in excess of $1,000. Lieutenant Ludolph was tried on one indictment and acquitted by a jury in the Superior Court. There is still another indictment pending against him and he is under conviction by the Police Commission on the charge of unofficerlike conduct growing out of his refusal to testify at the time of his original appearance before the grand jury. The criminal charges against David J. Dillon were dismissed following the abortive trial of Murray. This action was taken because the State's case was dependent on the testimony of Abel Ducayla, who had taken advantage of his constitutional privilege. Dillon was found not guilty by the Police Commission when Ducayla persisted in his refusal to testify. Patrolman George Burkhard is still awaiting trial on the criminal charge. Officer Ludolph, Dillon and Burkhard have been under suspension since they were indicted. It will be noted that among the officers dismissed were the captains in three of the important downtown districts. In the Central District the captain and the entire special district went out. The Southern District Special Detail consisted of only two men and one of these was discharged. The second member of the Southern district Special Detail, Patrolman Harry P. Cutler, was found guilty of unofficerlike conduct by the Police commission for refusing to testify before the grand jury and given a suspended sentence. He subsequently appeared and testified and was finally restored to duty after a reprimand. In addition to the above named officers, two additional members of the department face the possibility of dismissal when the Police Commission acts on their cases. The grand jury, on October 13, 1936, adopted a report, which was filed with the presiding judge of the Superior Court on October 15, 1936, recommending to the Police Commission that charges of conduct be filed against Patrolman John J. Dooling. This recommendation was adopted by a vote of the jury because of Dooling's failure to explain satisfactorily his large surplus income and after the presentation of evidence showing that his testimony in several instances was not in accordance with the facts. Dooling's average yearly deposits for a ten- year period from 1923 to 1932, inclusive, was $14,858.50. His peak year was 1925 with $38,423.22, and his lowest year 1932, $5,116.59. For six years his deposits ran into eight figures. He is now awaiting trial by the Police Commission. The grand jury, on September 21, 1936, adopted a report, which was filed with the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court on September 23, 1936, recommending to the Police Commission that charges of unofficerlike conduct be filed against Patrolman William Quinlan because of his failure to explain satisfactorily his large holdings, mostly in cash and stocks. It was shown that Quinlan's cash assets in banks and the estimated cost of his investments amounted to $110,704.26. He is now awaiting trial by the Police Commission. One of the most important developments of the investigation was the abolition of the special duty system in the police department. The iniquities of this system were well known to many people in the community and the men on this assignment were frequently referred to as "collectors," "bucketmen," etc. When the first seven of these men called before the grand jury declined to testify on the ground they might incriminate themselves, and you (District Attorney Brady), pointed out in a public statement that the activities of the special duty man was one of the important reasons for the investigation, the police department decided to do something about it. Accordingly, on June 9, 1936, Chief William J. Quinn issued an order permanently abolishing the system. As a further result of this investigation, there have been a number of cash settlements and recoveries made from police officers on undeclared income and personal property by the United States Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Assessor for the City and County of San Francisco, respectively The exact amount of these recoveries, or even an accurate approximation, is impossible as no official information is available from the Collector of Internal Revenue. The total sum recouped by the Federal Government through the last mentioned agency was far in excess of that obtained by the County Assessor and the two together represent, according to unofficial advice, a very substantial figure. We have considered it a duty to cooperate with the Internal Revenue bureau and have made a great deal of data available to agents of that organization. When these data are fully checked with the records of the Internal Revenue bureau, it is likely that additional officers will be forced to disgorge on unreported incomes. It is also probable that a continuing benefit will accrue to the Government as police officers will not be so apt to forget the formality of filing income tax returns in the future. In the course of this investigation, there was the usual clamoring for action against "higher ups." In so far as the police department is concerned, the highest active rank is that of captain with the single exception of the chief. It will be seen above that captains suffered to a greater degree proportionately than any other rank. However, the point I have in mind is that a man's rank in the department does not necessarily correspond to his position in the graft system. A patrolman, for example, may be a much more important cog in the graft alignment than a captain. Most of the special duty men were patrolman but they were on the inside of a great deal more corruption than some captains. Evidence gathered jointly by the Immigration Bureau of the United States Department of Labor and ourselves resulted in deportation proceedings being initiated against Fernand Ondella, Abel Ducayla and the latter's consort, Anna Roberts, as well as Federal charges of perjury against Ondella. A criminal charge of bribery was also developed against Ducayla and is now pending in the State Courts. In addition, we submitted evidence to the United States Attorney, at your direction, which resulted in two additional Federal criminal charges against Ducayla, one for violating the "fugitive witness" law, and the other for falsely registering as a voter. Anna Roberts was also indicted for the latter offense. All of these cases are awaiting trial. Circumstances and Conditions Controlling Course, Scope and Methods of Investigation In my announcement of the closing of the investigation, I made certain statements which I have since been asked to explain. I shall endeavor to do so herein, but first shall set forth certain facts and circumstances concerning my own position and the course and conduct of the case as a whole. As you know, I did not precipitate this investigation nor solicit the job of conducting it. I had no information the undertaking was even contemplated until approaches were made by your office. When employed, I frankly stated there could be no assurance of results. At the start, I was given to understand there was no reason to expect any funds additional to the original $25,000 appropriation of the Board of Supervisors. Our campaign was therefore planned and carried out on a comparatively small scale, considering the problem at hand, in order to remain within the limitations of the fund. When the second appropriation was made available on July 9, 1936, our staff and program was expanded and the investigation from then on was conducted along broader lines. When results began to be manifested by the new lines of inquiry, a series of developments occurred which so reduced the general effectiveness of the undertaking as to make it advisable to terminate it. It is unfortunate, since a second and larger appropriation was eventually forthcoming, that the entire fund was not made available at the start so the enterprise could have commenced along more comprehensive lines with the maximum opportunity for greater and quicker results. A comparison between the accomplishments of this investigation and similar enterprises here and elsewhere does not leave us in an unfavorable position. So far as my associates and myself are concerned, however, we are greatly disappointed because we feel the full potentialities of the undertaking were not realized. We hoped and endeavored to achieve a thorough housecleaning in the police department and we believe that we could have gone a great deal farther toward accomplishing this objective if we had been given a fair measure of support by the city administration. A graft investigation readily lends itself to controversies and sensational news stories. The history of a number of these cases reveals that they have generated a tremendous amount of ill feeling and business and have been accompanied by lurid accusations, personal vilification and general mud-slinging. This has occurred to such an extreme degree in some instances that the original purpose of the inquiries was lost sight of while the participants engaged in a melee of insults and opprobrium. We resolved in the beginning that, so far as it was within our power, this case would be kept on a different plane. In my endeavor to adhere to this resolution, I frequently refrained from publicly pointing out conditions and circumstances which hampered and stultified our efforts on he theory that a greater measure of co-operation could be secured by maintaining friendly relations. In looking back now, I think I erred in exercising restraint on a number of occasions when, by speaking out, the public might have been aroused to exert more pressure on some of its officials. I have no desire to stir up a controversy now, but I feel that some of the difficulties under which this investigation labored should be pointed out for what value they may have in planning any future inquiries of this kind. Corruption in a large metropolitan police department is probably the most difficult subject that can be selected for investigation. By this is meant an investigation designed for punitive purposes as distinguished from a mere survey of the conditions. It is not essential to go into any lengthy discussion of the reasons for this situation, but it is advisable to point out certain factors contributing thereto, as they strongly influenced me in shaping the course of this investigation. An investigation of this type must recruit its witnesses almost entirely from underworld sources and the sporting fraternity. These people are schooled in the principle that to talk is to become a "stool pigeon" or "fink," and to receive this appellation makes one an outcast forevermore. Strict adherence to this principle on a large scale must therefore be anticipated with a corresponding foreclosure on sources of evidence. The more intelligent of these people, who resent the police system of exacting tribute and who might be expected to benefit themselves by aiding in throwing off this yoke, are restrained by the fear that they will be permanently blacklisted by the police and prevented from earning a living in their chosen field. In the comparatively few cases where these people have the courage to testify, they make very vulnerable witnesses. Practically all of them have police records but, whether they have or not, they are held up to scorn and contempt before the jury and figuratively crucified by smart criminal lawyers. Such lawyers are very resourceful in ingenious and they usually manipulate a case to where the prosecution's witnesses are on trial rather than the defendant. In this connection, of course, the defense counsel has to convince (only) one person out of twelve that the word of a prostitute, for instance, should not be taken against that of a police officer in order to save his client from conviction. Under the sway of a shrewd criminal lawyer, who demands to know why the State does not produce witnesses of good reputation and character, jurors frequently forget the ministers of the Gospel, Sunday School teachers, etc., do not have to pay for police protection. "Payoffs" are not generally made in the presence of witnesses other than the participants or parties interested in the transaction. In many cases only two persons are present. It is impossible to convict a person of a felony without testimony or other evidence of a corroborative nature. Furthermore, the bribe-giver is just as guilty of a crime as the bribe- taker. However, if the former is to testify against the latter he cannot very well be prosecuted. The defense exploits this situation to the limit by proclaiming from the housetops that the State has bought the witness' testimony with immunity. This scheme is sometimes successful in prejudicing jurors against the State's case. The foregoing are conditions and circumstances which apply generally to all cases of this character. The instant case started off under an added handicap in that it was preceded by prolonged and intensive newspaper publicity or, succinctly, "ballyhoo." This served to put the forces against whom our efforts were directed, on guard, with the result that they restricted their activities, did business only with those persons whom they could trust implicitly and warned, sometimes even threatened, many against talking to or allowing investigators to enter their premises. Figuratively, they erected a barrier around themselves which was hard to penetrate and materially increased the normal difficulties of the case. No one can be held responsible for the latter situation. It was simply the natural result of the investigation being sponsored by the city and financed out of public funds. Money cannot be appropriated out of the public treasury except by the Board of Supervisors. Such action immediately becomes a matter of public record and everyone is on notice. When I first agreed to conduct this investigation, I was not familiar with all the events which precipitated it and did not realize how extensively publicized it had been. When the work actually commenced, I became fully aware of the situation and took steps to correct it. The newspapers co-operated generously and for more than two months there was very little publicity. I believed this to be the best course to follow but it may have been a mistake as there was too sudden and complete a let-down. The public, its appetite for news once whetted, lost interest when there was a cessation of publicity and some unfavorable reactions occurred. After analyzing the various factors we came to the conclusion that it would be practically impossible to affect a major cleanup of the police department if we had to depend entirely on convicting officers of criminal charges. We took the view, which we still hold as the most sound one, that the paramount objective was to purge the department of graft. Therefore what difference did it make whether corrupt officers were removed by criminal conviction, dismissal or resignation or, in short, by any legal means? Furthermore, I had no personal desire for "a pound of flesh" and thought that the welfare of the police department as a whole was of greater consequence than sending a small number of men to jail. Do not interpret these remarks to mean that we did not intend to seek and develop evidence of the commission of criminal offenses by police officers and to submit such evidence to you for presentation to the grand jury. On the contrary, this was an important part of our program but we considered that, to make it the exclusive, or even most favored means to the end would be to greatly reduce the effectiveness and generally stultify the main purpose of the investigation. Accordingly, we commenced an examination of the bank accounts and financial transactions of officers whom we had reason to suspect were benefiting from graft. We proceeded on the theory that any of these officers having an excessive amount of cash and –or investments, or whose monthly deposits showed a substantial surplus over their salaries, should be called upon for a strict accounting; that, either their refusal to give such an accounting, their submission of a false accounting or their failure to give a plausible or reasonable explanation of how they acquired substantial fortunes, should be sufficient grounds for the police commission to take appropriate action to bring about their dismissal. In the course of this line of inquiry we examined the bank and brokerage accounts, real estate transactions and miscellaneous financial dealings of approximately 300 police officers and their families, totaling about 1,000 persons. We found it was the general practice of these officers to maintain a multiplicity of bank accounts and, in many instances, several brokerage accounts so that the volume of work and time required was unusual and unexpectedly heavy. In following out this same procedure we prepared a very comprehensive examination for your guidance in questioning officers before the grand jury and subsequently about fifty officers were subpoenaed to testify. In passing, I might comment that the two-fold purpose of this examination was not understood or else was lost sight of by many people. In this respect many missed the point that to secure an explanation of surplus deposits at regular intervals in the past years was equally and, in many instances, much more important than an explanation of the bank balances and assets of a man on any given date during the investigation. For example, a man might handle many thousands of dollars in excess of his salary but, by concealing or squandering it, he could appear to be in moderate or even poor circumstances when called upon to testify. The efficacy of this procedure is amply demonstrated, in my judgment, because it is directly responsible for the results obtained and listed heretofore, except indictments. I refer not only to dismissals but also the abolition of the special duty system. We were not pioneering in this procedure but it was novel to San Francisco and it served to take the opposition by surprise. It is true that police officers were required to bring their bank books to the grand jury in the Kamokila case, but no interest was manifested in anything more than the bank balances at the moment; no effort was made to exact a substantial accounting and the whole proceeding was too superficial in this particular respect to be comparable to the program followed in the present case. This is best evidenced by the fact that many of the officers who testified in the Kamokila case on the subject of personal finances were afraid to face the examination outlined in this case and declined to testify. This plan of action should have been continued relentlessly but circumstances rendered such a course impossible. After the hilarity of excitement caused by the first Arabian nights tales told to the grand jury and the subsequent dismissal of twelve officers had subsided, a constant and increasing clamor was set up for indictments. The demand for indictments was dinned into our ears from all quarters and we were told that dismissal might serve but the investigation would not be regarded as a success unless police officers went to jail. It was in sharp contrast to the attitude previously manifested toward the undertaking and it might have been amusing if it were not for the unfortunate effect it had on the case. Prior to the opening of the grand jury sessions, there were few, if any, persons outside of ourselves who gave thought to the investigation accomplishing any results. The majority of people manifested little or no interest in it and others generally viewed it with feelings of futility, suspicion and contempt. The first results were startling enough but reaction set in and dismissal was not considered sufficient punishment so the cry for prison sentences developed. We could not control all of the influences which affected this investigation and this was an instance where we had to compromise as the result of pressure. Prior to the second appropriation of funds we had laid greater stress on the assembling of data designed to bring about dismissals than on the collection of evidence for criminal prosecutions. After the date of the second appropriation we reversed this procedure although we did not abandon the first line of inquiry. This change in program had a part in reducing the effectiveness of the first phase of our program but it was only one factor and, in my judgment, not the most important one. The process itself was too much of a routine to maintain interest at a high pitch over an extended period of time. It was slow, tedious procedure lacking the spectacular qualities of criminal prosecutions. The pace set by the trunk, bait box, woodpile, baking powder can stories told the grand jury, could not be sustained indefinitely. The testimony of succeeding witnesses, while just as preposterous in many instances, did not have the same sensational story value and nothing was done about it, so the press gradually played it down and public interest diminished. The grand jury found it monotonous and tiresome, grew impatient and eventually lost interest in anything but indictment evidence. As it developed, it was unfortunate that the presiding judge did not adhere to his original intention of dismissing the grand jury at the expiration of six months. In making this comment, I intend no criticism of Judge Robinson or the grand jury. When the jury was impanelled Judge Robinson advised the members that their task would be more arduous than that of the usual grand jury and he therefore intended to dismiss them after six months' service. At the end of this time he continued them in office on the theory they were familiar with the case and in a position to work more smoothly and efficiently than a new body of men. This was a most natural and logical decision and it would have worked out advantageously in almost any other case. There were several members of the grand jury out of sympathy with this investigation, One of those was avowedly opposed to it from its inception. However, I do not believe any local grand jury in twenty-five years has spent so much time in session. The members were asked to make a great sacrifice in this respect and they responded generously. Many earnestly desired to cooperate with the investigation. The second appropriation was for the purpose of carrying on the investigation along broader lines with an increased number of government-trained investigators. As indicated before, the main purpose of the undertaking from then on was to develop evidence for indictments. Delay in making the second fund available delayed the arrival of new personnel until after the middle of July and it was about the first of August before they had all familiarized themselves with the case sufficiently to function at full efficiency. On September 29, 1936, the first indictments were returned by the grand jury. Other indictments followed on October 15 and 31, 1936. In the meantime, evidence was also presented to the grand jury which resulted in the adoption of reports recommending to the Police Commission that charges of un-officer-like conduct be filed against three officers. One of these men has since been dismissed. Circumstances and obstacles hindering investigation and causing its termination The strike had an increasingly damaging effect on the investigation from the time it first began to threaten seriously, which was very soon after the second phase of the investigation commenced. Its major reactions were twofold. It made the investigation unpopular with business and industry. They considered that their interests required them to maintain favor with the police department by manifesting disapproval of any activity which might have a disturbing effect on police personnel. The strike provided a convenient refuge for the Police Commission and Chief Quinn. It enabled them to quibble, delay and deny certain vital requests with the explanation that compliance would be detrimental to the morale of the department. For example, it was necessary from time to time to identify individual members of the department. Some persons, who assertedly had corrupt dealings with police officers, were unable to recall their names or remembered only their first names or nicknames but they stated they could identify the men on sight. In some instances it was not known in what districts the men were then assigned. The practical approach to this problem appeared to be to show the photographs of all the officers assigned to the area at the time the transaction occurred. When we applied to the police department for such photographs we were surprised to learn that there were none available of men who entered the department prior to 1923. Those that were on file were taken before the men were even given uniforms and some were so old they were practically worthless for identification purposes. We requested Chief Quinn to issue an order requiring the submission of photographs by all members of the department. The chief declined on the grounds that such an order might be considered unreasonable and that it would hurt the morale of the department. When I called his attention to the fact that it would not only be of assistance to the investigation but that the department should have a complete file of up- to-date pictures for its own records, in accordance with the practice of all modern law enforcement agencies, which also require fingerprints as well, he said he would think it over. In this respect, I might say that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Department of Justice) requires new photos of its agents every six months. Shortly afterward this subject was again broached at a conference attended by Theodore Roche, president of the Board of Police Commissioners; Chief Quinn, Assistant District Attorney Joseph T. O'Connor, and myself. The chief adhered to his previous position and was supported by Mr. Roche, who made the same statement that such an order as was being requested would injure the moral of the department, they must be careful to avoid doing anything during the emergency created by the strike, that might disturb the temper of the men. Needless to say, there was no order issued. This not only delayed and hindered us in our work, but it also reflects the quality of cooperation extended in this investigation by the police commission. To contend that a rule requiring police officers to submit photographs for the personnel files of the department would affect the morale of the men is, in my judgment, to wander far in the realm of subterfuge. Shortly after this situation arose (at 4:20 a.m. October 22, 1936,to be exact) I received a telephone call from an undercover man who had been given a general "prowling" assignment. He informed me that he was in the company of a friend and they had just left a speakeasy in the Ellis/Polk district; that while they were in this place two officers in uniform entered, examined the liquor, observed the customers and then took the proprietor outside; that on his return the proprietor said he had "paid off." I immediately proceeded to the address given me and questioned the proprietor. He admitted the "payoff" and, upon being brought to the office, made a lengthy statement covering this and other transactions with police officers extending back several years into the bootlegging era. He stated that two officers had a police car and appeared to be radio patrolmen, but that he did not know their names and he had never "done business" with them before. Unfortunately, our agent was not in a position to see the star numbers of the officers. After securing what was supposed to be a complete list of the radiomen in the area at the time, we rigged up an amateurish, but effective, "shadowgraph," which enabled suspects to be observed without seeing the witnesses and had them ordered into our office by the chief's office. In order not to interfere with the policing of the district, we arranged for them to come in pairs rather than all together. The men were told we would not embarrass them if they were not identified. They were treated courteously and, with one or two exceptions, they manifested no resentment. The witnesses present were unable to identify any of them. The next day a terrific wail went up from the Police Department and we were accused of unfair tactics. A conference was held with Mr. Roche, Chief Quinn, Mr. O'Connor and myself present, Mr. Roche stated the men in the department objected to our procedure, objected to coming to my apartment and that he himself thought it was not fair. He suggested that we have our witnesses look at officers in their respective stations or that some one station be selected for this purpose. I pointed out to Mr. Roche we were merely following a common police practice which was made more essential because of his decision relative to the photographs; that we could not jeopardize civilian witnesses by taking them to police stations where they would be subject to scrutiny by a large number of officers; that my office was not my apartment; that it was located in an apartment building where I also resided, it was used for no other purpose besides the business of this investigation and, under the circumstances, was as much a part of the District Attorney's office as your own quarters; that our good faith was demonstrated by the fact no identification was made; that we did not embarrass any innocent men by giving out their names and that the press learned about it through the officers themselves. After considerable discussion Mr. Roche agreed to permit us to call in officers for identification, provided about six men were lined up at a time. This offer was satisfactory to me but you will observe that it was short- lived. During October we were making a very intensive inquiry into the activities of a group of officers, including the captain in the Western Addition district. We had a complete statement from a woman who was prepared to testify that she paid several officers. Careful questioning and re-questioning this woman over a period of weeks satisfied us that she was truthful and by checking some of her statements, some corroboration was secured. Further confirmation was obtained through information given us confidentially by members of the Police Department. At this stage it became necessary to interrogate several of the officers involved. We had been following a plan worked out with the chief whereby he ordered any officer whom we desired to question to report to our office. Accordingly, we had two of these men, Mathew Savasta and Albert P. Christ, come to our office one evening for questioning. Savasta balked at first but changed his mind when told by the chief's office that he had no alternative. During the course of these examinations the woman mentioned above was brought in to confront the two officers. It was not for the purpose of identification, as she had already named and described these men and selected their photographs from a group of officers. Our object was largely to observe her reaction and to determine whether she would stand by her statements when face to face with the men she accused. To her credit it should be said that she showed no sign of wavering. At this time Savasta had been transferred and was on assignment under the supervision of Captain Charles W. Dullea, chief of the bureau of inspectors. The following day he complained to Captain Dullea, who in turn protested to Chief Quinn. The latter had previous acted on his own initiative but now, when his action met with objection, he sought the advice of the President of the Board of Police Commissioners. Mr. Roche informed him that he should advise the men to come to our office when requested but that he should not order them to appear. In the meantime, before I heard of this ruling, I asked Sergeant William D. O'Keefe be sent to our office for questioning. I learned that considerable persuasion was necessary to get him to appear and, on his arrival, he announced that he would not be "fingered" or, in other words, pointed out or identified. He then proceeded to tell me just what kinds of questions he would and would not answer and to dictate generally what we should and should not do. I informed him that I had been selected for this investigation rather than he. So long as this situation applied, I would ask him whatever questions I saw fit. If he were not prepared to answer he could leave. After some bickering we finally questioned him under very unsatisfactory circumstances. As Christ was leaving on the night mentioned above, I told him that we might want to question him further in few days and he assured me he would be available. Three days later, on a Saturday morning, I telephoned to him at his home and made an appointment for him the return to the office at 10 a.m. He failed to appear, so, after waiting an hour, I went to his home. The curtains were drawn, no one responded to the bell and nothing further was heard from Christ. I communicated this information to the chief on the following Monday and asked him to order Christ to come to our office. It was then that I was advised of the ruling set forth above. The chief said he would advise Christ to come in but expressed doubt that it would have any effect. This proved to be true; Christ declined point bank to return. This development circulated very rapidly through the police "grapevine." Officers learned that when the chief called on them to report to our office it was not an order and they could refuse with impunity. It brought about a situation whereby they laughed at the investigation. In practical effect it denied the investigators access to police officers. It created a preposterous condition tantamount to one wherein the Police Department would be denied the right to question suspects or persons having information pertinent to a robbery or any other crime. This ruling brought about an impasse in the investigation, forcing it to more or less mark time for approximately a month. Several discussions were held by Mr. O'Connor and myself with Mr. Roche and Chief Quinn during this time until finally Mr. Roche granted us the concession of interviewing officers with certain restrictions. He laid down this formula; That we would question police officers only at the District Attorney's office, in the presence of an Assistant District Attorney and during the regular business hours of the office; that, if he requested it, an officer could have a lawyer present; that, according to his wishes, an officer could have a Police Department stenographer present to take his statement in shorthand. The files and records of the investigation were in our own office and we were naturally faced with the necessity of referring to them on occasions when questioning persons. We could not always anticipate everything that might develop during the course of such interrogations. Our stenographers and our facilities for writing statements were also in our office. The city was paying rent for this office for the purpose of carrying on the business of the investigation. Police corruption is not confined to the hours of 9 to 5 and an investigation of this kind cannot maintain regular office hours. Actually in this case it was a 24 hour job. Situations that develop cannot be allowed to languish for hours while the participants exchange notes, prepare alibis, fabricate stories so as to make them coincide, advise with lawyers, etc. One must strike while the iron is hot. Witnesses cannot be brought to the District Attorney's office in the daytime for the purpose of identifying police officers without running the risk of revealing their own identities. We were not charging anyone with a crime and conducting a judicial hearing where their guilt or innocence would be determined and they would therefore be entitled to representation by counsel. Furthermore, anyone who has engaged in the investigation and prosecution of crime knows that no progress would be made in law enforcement if criminal lawyers were allowed to participate in the investigation. These items were pointed out during the course of discussions with Mr. Roche and Chief Quinn. The direct effect this situation had on the case at hand was to nullify the progress that had been made. Christ had been evasive and contradictory because he knew that we were aware of many of the facts. He was not so deeply involved in the matter himself, but he was protecting persons higher up. Each time we questioned him he enmeshed himself further and he was becoming so nervous and "jittery" that he was on the verge of breaking down. However, the several weeks respite afforded by Mr. Roche ruling furnished him an opportunity to regain some of his lost composure and gave the whole group time to build their fences. We questioned Christ again under the new arrangement but we had lost the advantage previously gained. This situation, which culminated a long struggle against adverse circumstances that consistently operated to smother the investigation, left me ready to accept promptly the decision made by you very shortly afterwards to terminate the undertaking. In the beginning of the investigation we anticipated opposition from individual members of the department and therefore were not surprised when it materialized. However, we had a right to expect cooperation from the Police Commission. President Roche, spokesman for the commission, issued statements from time to time during the investigation expressing a keen desire to cooperate and making it appear that the commission was actively behind the undertaking. This was simply lip service. The commission never had any enthusiasm for this investigation and what aid it occasionally extended consisted of giving us barely what we asked for – nothing more. The exceedingly few instances where the commission made spontaneous or voluntary offer of information or assistance were of minor importance. The present generation of police officers has practically grown up under the quarter century of administration of Mr. Roche as a member and president of the board of Police Commissioners. Mr. Roche naturally has a sentimental attachment for the department and a paternal attitude toward many of the men. Like many fathers he has spared the rod and spoiled the child. The San Francisco Police Department has been notorious for its "wrist slapping" disciplinary measures. Furthermore, Mr. Roche is an important bulwark of the political dynasty which rules the city and which is ultimately responsible for a good or a bad police department. The investigation created a serious problem for Mr. Roche and his political associates. The more far-reaching it became and the more results it secured, the greater would be the reflection on the administration of Mr. Roche and the political regime as a whole. If this investigation had attained a complete success there would have been a major political upheaval. These were not circumstances that invited Mr. Roche to put his shoulder to the wheel. Because of the persistent allegation from many quarters that Dr. Thomas E. Shumate, next in seniority on the commission, was given a monopoly on the medical examination of prostitutes, we inquired into that situation. Interviews with doctors developed that this business was formerly fairly well distributed among half a dozen or more medical men but that it had gradually gravitated away from them to Dr. Shumate. Some of them stated that this formed a very remunerative part of their practice and they had lost a substantial measure of their income. As the investigation progressed, several of these doctors advised us that this class of patients was increasing again. Some of the prostitutes whom we questioned stated they were instructed by police officers and by the landladies where they worked to go to Dr. Shumate for their periodic medical examinations. An order was issued by Chief Quinn, in January of 1936, directing police officers to have all prostitutes held for quarantine when, upon arrest, they were found to be diseased. This order was directed at some officers' practice of giving out cards and telling prostitutes to go to a doctor. Some of patrolman James H. Coleman's indiscretions were understood to be directly responsible for this order. The best evidence as to whether or not Dr. Shumate was given special preference in these examinations would be in his own case records which, being privileged, were not accessible to us. However, regardless of how he may have secured them, there is no doubt but that Dr. Shumate had a large share of patients from the ranks of prostitutes. As a police commissioner of more than 20 years' service, he should have sought to avoid this position if he wished to escape suspicion. Dr. Shumate was completely out of sympathy with the purpose of this investigation. This was true to such an extent that he provided a problem even for the other two members of the board at times. He is one of the mediums through which Peter P. McDonough exercises an important influence in department matters. Dr. Shumate has been hard pressed in his business enterprises and he is at present under financial obligations to McDonough brothers, a very unhealthy situation. Dr. Shumate has aided in sabotaging this investigation. He would be doing the public and the police department a service by resigning. Frank J. Foran, third member of the board, has served only a short in comparison with his two associates and is not as potent a force in police affairs. Nonetheless, his influence in this case was an asset in counteracting that of Dr. Shumate. Based on very limited observation, I would say that Mr. Foran was much more in sympathy with the purpose of this inquiry than his colleagues. Had he been in a better position to take the lead, I believe the commission might have given the investigation some aggressive support. The chief's office cooperated very well on routine matters such as supplying documents and records when requested. The chief aided us in other ways from time to time and I believe, would have been of considerable assistance to the investigation if he had been clothed with such authority and permitted to exercise his own initiative and judgment. However, the powers of the chief have been monopolized by the commission with the result that he has been nothing more than a "straw boss." The chief should have authority commensurate to his heavy responsibility. If he had been in a position to decide questions and act independently, I would have felt less restraint about discussing matters with him. In January 1936, a graft case developed out of the alleged "shakedown" of Lewis Wagner, a grocer, by four members of the bureau of inspectors, namely, James J. Cooper, John E. O'Keefe, Jesse E. Ayres and John H. Sturm. This case was brought to the attention of Chief Quinn and Mr. Roche by a friend of the former. They both knew that the city was engaged in investigating charges of graft in the police department and had all the mechanics set up to handle such matters on the theory that the police department was not the proper agency to investigate itself. However, they did not refer the case to us but quietly proceeded to make their own investigation. It soon broke into the public prints as the result of a clash between Captain Dullea and Captain Skelly over the conduct of the case. Subsequently, the four officers were tried before the commission and, though all were found not guilty, two of them, Cooper and O'Keefe were demoted to patrolmen. I attended one of the hearings in this case and had an observer present at several others. During the examination of the complaining witness, Wagner, it appeared he was being tried rather than the defendants. The verdict reached was a compromise. If Cooper and O'Keefe were innocent of the charges they should not have been "broken out" of the bureau of inspectors. This case should have been referred to us in the beginning before it was "worked over" by a number of police officers with conflicting interests. Afterwards we took a full statement from Wagner and his charges appeared to have merit but it was too late to do much about it. Significant features were that Wagner was not prosecuted for receiving stolen goods; the bank records showed a withdrawal from his bank account on the date he asserted he obtained funds to pay the officers and also showed it to be his only withdrawal in three years. The method of the police commission in conducting trials of officers is a very unique one. Mr. Roche, as the president of and the only lawyer member, acts as the presiding judge and prosecutor and then votes for the guilt or innocence of the defendant. He is, in effect, judge, prosecutor and jury. In a public statement January 23, 1937, Mr. Roche said in part; "The fact of the matter is that the Police Commission not only gave its whole- hearted support to the investigation conducted under the direction of Mr. Atherton but likewise cooperated to the fullest extent and apparently, if the Police Commission had not dismissed certain officers for refusing to testify before the Grand Jury, nothing would have been accomplished." The accuracy of the first part of the above statement viz. "…the Police Commission…. gave its whole-hearted support to the investigation," can best be judged by some of the statements appearing heretofore and hereafter in this report, which are a matter of fact and record that cannot be controverted. Relative to the second part of this statement, viz. "… apparently, if the Police Commission had not dismissed certain officers for refusing to testify before the Grand Jury, nothing would have been accomplished," it is true that the commission dismissed 13 men and that these dismissals constitute the major part of the tangible results of the investigation up to date. However, was not the commission, in this regard, only performing a function which was its inescapable duty to perform? The commission did not take this action simply as a gesture of good-will and cooperation to this investigation but because it had no alternative. Its position was parallel to that of a court of law. When sufficient evidence is adduced to establish the commission of a crime by a defendant, he is found guilty and punished. In taking such action the Court is not doing the Police Department, or any other law enforcement agency, which developed the case, a favor but is fulfilling its sworn duty to the people. After all, we were simply an investigative agency without any power to mete out punishment. We had to present our findings to the Courts, a subdivision thereof, such as the Grand Jury or the Police Commission. Following Mr. Roche's somewhat peculiar reasoning, it is apparent that he considers the commission is entitled to all the credit for these dismissals and that the investigation was a failure. Does anyone believe that the commission would have discharged these men if there had been no investigation, or that it was just a coincidence that these dismissals occurred during the course of the investigation? Disregarding every other factor, the commission's own record does not suggest an affirmative answer. According to the report of the Police Survey Committee, there were only eight dismissals ordered by the commission in the six-year period from 1930 to 1935, inclusive. In this respect, I shall borrow further from that report as follows: "Yet an examination of the record of disciplinary trials for the past seven years discloses numerous cases in which the Police Commission has repeatedly exhorted, or reprimanded, persistent offenders, or imposed various minor penalties, but has obviously been reluctant to apply necessary punitive measures." When a number of police officers refused to testify before the Grand Jury, Mr. Roche took the position that the Police Commission could do nothing about it unless an officer based his refusal on the ground that he might incriminate himself. Knowing this, officers used every pretext even to the point of refusing to be sworn, to a void exercising their constitutional privilege. This faced us with the necessity of filing contempt charges and going through long drawn-out legal proceedings from these men except to testify or decline on self-incriminatory grounds It was our opinion that the rules of the department were sufficiently broad to prevent such delay and dilatory tactics but, if not, they should be amended to permit disciplinary action against officers for refusing to testify on any grounds. I advised you to this effect and suggested that you call a meeting with Mr. Roche and urged upon him the necessity of a more vigorous attitude on the part of the commission. This meeting was arranged by you on May 12, 1936, and was attended by yourself, Assistant District Attorneys O'Connor, Gillen, Skillin, Mr. Roche, Chief Quinn and myself. You will recall that we presented our views, as outlined, and Mr. Roche did not readily accept them; that he offered objections, and considerable discussion was necessary before he agreed to follow the course suggested. You will also recall that at the time this conference was held the investigation was at the peak of its popularity, the community was aroused and was demanding action from its officials. Had we made this suggestion five months earlier or five months later, I seriously doubt that it would have received much consideration. As a result of it, a new rule was adopted by the commission, regulating the conduct of police officers, and the violation of this rule was the basis for practically all of the dismissals. In the light of Mr. Roche's statement, it is interesting to review the action taken by the commission in some of these cases. First, let us compare the prosecution of Sergeant Patrick Shannon with that of the large group of some fourteen officers. Charges were filed against Shannon on May 5, 1936. He was vigorously prosecuted by the commission and sentenced to dismissal 13 days later, May 18, 1936. On the other hand, various delays and weeks ensued before final action was taken in the case of the large group. That prompt and much speedier disposal of the Shannon case was due to the fact that he had aroused the wrath of the commission by bringing so much ridicule to the department. It is also in point to compare the cases of Lieutenant Thomas O. Roche (no relation to the commissioner) and patrolman Gurtler, Dooling and Quinlan. Lieutenant Roche and Gurtler were found guilty by the commission of unofficerlike conduct for refusing to testify before the Grand Jury but, as they had requested another chance to appear before the Grand Jury, sentence was suspended until they had this opportunity. Subsequently they were recalled and both testified. In the case of Lieutenant Roche, we found that the testimony explaining his source of wealth, was not in accordance with the facts and we presented evidence to this effect to the Grand Jury. As a result, the latter adopted a report to the Police Commission, on September 16, 1936, recommending disciplinary action against Lieutenant Roche. Accordingly, the charges were filed and the lieutenant was dismissed by the commission on October 19, 1936. From the time he first declined to testify until his discharge, Lieutenant Roche was under suspicion from the department and lost his pay during the entire period. Following Gurtler's last appearance before the Grand Jury we were unable to produce witnesses to refute his testimony, so the Grand Jury adopted a report to this effect on November 24, 1936. As in the case of Roche, Gurtler had also been under suspension from the date of his original refusal to testify. However, when reinstated, his salary was restored for this period. On October 15, 1936, the Grand Jury adopted a report to the Police Commission recommending disciplinary action against Patrolman John J. Dooling on the same grounds as in the case of Lieutenant Roche, to- wit, giving false testimony, and the additional grounds the he failed to explain his large surplus bank deposits. The commission took no action on the Grand Jury's recommendation until February 3, 1937, nearly four months later, after the investigation was ended and after I had commented several times on the commission's lackadaisical attitude. At this time it filed charges of unofficerlike conduct against Dooling but even then it did not suspend him from duty. On September 24, 1936, the Grand Jury adopted a report to the Police Commission recommending disciplinary action against Patrolman William Quinlan for failure to explain the source of his large bank accounts and investments. Some time later Mr. Roche requested me to prepare a further and more detailed accounting of Quinlan's financial transactions, and I gave him such a report on October 19, 1936. At this time, I called Mr. Roche's attention to Quinlan's personnel file in the police department, which contained a report of an investigation conducted by Duncan Matheson, former captain of detectives, in 1925. In short, this report revealed that Quinlan was renting certain premises to two bootleggers and charging them $20 per month extra because they were engaged in violating the law; that he actually received $50 per month rent but, by mutual agreement, gave the tenants a receipt for only $30; that there was also 200 gallons of wine belonging to Quinlan on the premises and which had been offered for sale. The commission has taken no official action against Quinlan up to date. Unofficially it has recently been dickering with Quinlan's lawyer for a compromise and, apparently Quinlan has offered to retire. As you are already informed, I am opposed to this proposal as I feel it would be unfair to the taxpayers to burden them with Quinlan's pension for the rest of his life. I have advised you that Quinlan should either resign or stand trial. (Since this was written, charges were brought against Quinlan an February 23, 1937, and he is awaiting trial by the Police Commission.) The four cases described above offer some sharp contrasts. The commission acted very expeditiously in restoring Gurtler to duty. I do not criticize this but I feel that it should have responded proportionately as fast in the Dooling and Quinlan case. The Lieutenant Roche case was handled with speed in comparison. You may know that Lieutenant Roche was a black sheep in the Police Department for some time. He incurred disfavor by supporting the political group which opposed the machine in power. The commission's failure to suspend Dooling, after charges were filed, indicates that it does not take the matter very seriously and that it will probably end in a "whitewash." It is generally recognized that quick, sure punishment is the best way to combat crime and maintain respect for the law. Though we were not dealing with criminal charges in these instances, the same principle should apply. If as Mr. Roche contends, the commission was giving its "whole-hearted support to the investigation," it would have acted with greater vigor and firmness and thereby aided in promoting respect for the enterprise. In the course of the investigation we received a sworn statement charging certain police officers with having participated in crimes with former Sergeant Hassing, a convicted felon, and also independently of the latter. Before we could go into this situation very thoroughly, we had to check the records in the Bureau of Inspectors. In checking these records, which were exceedingly meager, we had to go through Captain Charles Dullea and Inspector Richmond Tatham, so they were on notice as to our purpose. Subsequently we questioned a special patrol officer, whose beat comprised the locality of some of Hassing's illegal activities. According to this special officer, a few days later he was called into Captain Dullea's office, where Captain George Healy and Inspector Richmond Tatham were also present. These officers accused him of having taken part in one of the crimes in question, displayed some papers which they asserted was evidence enough to "cook" him and further asserted that Frank Fitzpatrick, a fugitive and one of the ringleaders of the gang, of which Hassing was a member, had been apprehended in Los Angeles and that he had talked. (This was not true, of course, and it is hardly likely that Fitzpatrick will ever be apprehended unless it occurs in connection with some other crime.) This meeting occurred at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13, 1936. They told the special officer to resign his commission and sell his beat. Captain George Healy gave him a 24-hour ultimatum but, at the suggestion of Captain Dullea, this time was extended to the following Sunday. Captain Dullea advised him to attribute his resignation to his wife's health. Among other things, the special officer quoted Captain George Healy as saying: "I am a new man in the Harbor and Atherton is working and if he gets hold of this will be tough on me." I learned about this development the next day and immediately communicated with Chief Quinn. I informed him that we had questioned the special officer at great lengths and that, while he had been very naïve and a "sucker" for Hassing, we found no evidence that he had willfully aided in Hassing's operations; that I interpreted the action of Captain Dullea and George Healy as highhanded and designed to punish the special officer for talking to us or to intimidate him if we had not yet contacted him; that this special officer had a family and an investment in his beat, which he would have to sacrifice, and if these captains had any evidence against him they should present it in the prescribed manner. Chief Quinn advised me that he w as leaving the same night for a peace officer's convention and would return the following Monday, at which time he would look into the situation, and that the officer should be told to do nothing in the meantime. I relayed this advice to the special officer, but he was so disturbed by that he tendered his resignation to Captain Healy and advertised his beat for sale. After the chief's return, however, he was called to Captain Healy's office and informed as follows. "You write a letter withdrawing your resignation. My father was a special officer and I know what it means to quit the beat at your age." Accordingly he wrote a letter, under the captain's direction, recalling his resignation. At about the same time, one of the associates of Fitzpatrick and Hassing was called to the Inspector's Bureau and questioned by Captain Dullea and Inspector Tatham as to whether we had communicated with him. This man was on parole, had a good job and was fearful they might take steps to revoke his parole. He was given a warning and allowed to leave. The various incidents related in this report were not all previously known to you and are recited herein to explain my statements that this investigation did not receive the proper kind of support from certain public officials, Further details could be given. This report answers Mayor Rossi's request that I elaborate on my statement. I declined to attend the meeting which he called because it could accomplish no useful results. In the first place, you had decided to terminate the investigation and I was carrying out your decision. Consequently, it was a rather tardy hour for the Mayor to be manifesting concern and suggested nothing more to me than a post mortem. There seemed to be little use in discussing ways and means of assisting the patient when the patient was dead. In the second place, I seriously questioned the sincerity of purpose behind the plan. To me it appeared the Mayor's political advisers had suggested the conference for the purpose of shifting their responsibility for the ending of the investigation. In making the statement that this investigation was not supported by certain public officials, I had Mayor Rossi in mind, among others. His attitude appears to have been that because he approved the appropriations his responsibility ended. I do not agree. As the chief executive of the city, with direct appointive powers over the commissioners who control the Police Department, he is ultimately responsible for conditions in the department. An aggressive, militant manifestation that he wanted a clean Police Department and would tolerate no interference with the investigation would have produced more vigorous action on the part of his commissioners and police executives. It would have made the undertaking more impressive and given it the necessary impetus. From the time I entered upon this investigation until the first appropriation was nearing exhaustion, I did not hear one public utterance from the Mayor nor observe any other indication that he knew an investigation was under way. When civic organizations, citizens and the press demanded a further appropriation, he emerged with statements that he wanted to see the inquiry carried through to the end and, with this view, would make available $100,000 if necessary. When a specific request for $50,000 was made, he publically announced his approval. Shortly afterwards he quietly invited us to a conference at his office with the request that the press not be notified. This meeting was attended by John O'Toole, City Attorney, Leonard Levy, controller, Mr. O'Connor and myself. Much discussion ensued over the need for $50,000 and it was immediately obvious that, despite his public approval of this amount, the Mayor's purpose in this conference was to prevail upon us to accept $25,000. I would not say that the Mayor sought exactly to over awe me, but he certainly resorted to extensive argument and persuasion. Mr. Levy appeared to be satisfied with my explanation of the $50,000 estimate. The Mayor finally became convinced that we would not proceed on a smaller budget and agreed to recommend it. After the second appropriation was made available, Mayor Rossi again subsided into dead silence until the announcement of the closing of the inquiry, when he proposed the meeting mentioned above. On August 5, 1936, I informed Mayor Rossi that a report had reached me to the effect that Fred Walsh, formerly of his office, had advised him that he (Walsh) had been offered $2500 by one of our employees for evidence or information pertaining to graft in the Police Department; that I did not know if this report was correct or not, but that it came to me on good authority; that if Mr. Walsh had made such a statement it was without any foundation in fact and was either a case of mistaken identity on the part of Mr. Walsh, or else a deliberate fabrication; that if there was any question in his mind, I suggested a meeting between Mr. Walsh and myself in his office. This letter was never acknowledged. Before concluding this report I wish to refer to comments appearing heretofore on the handicap of starting an investigation of this kind with publicity. Experience over the past year has demonstrated that this type of inquiry should be privately sponsored. Such an arrangement provides secrecy enabling investigators to operate under cover, while sources of information are still accessible, until they have laid a foundation and have begun to get results. Private sponsorship by a strong, active, nonpolitical group of civic- minded citizens gives more life and force to such an investigation. This form of leadership can demand the cooperation of public officials. It creates more confidence in the public mind, lends more assurance of security to those persons in possession of evidence and information of value to come forward. Because of circumstances over which we had no control, this undertaking, unfortunately, became known as the "Atherton investigation" instead of being recognized as a civic enterprise. Victims of police graft frequently told us they could not testify or otherwise openly assist the investigation because it was too transitory a factor in the community; that we were "here today and gone tomorrow," and there would be no one to intercede for them in the event of reprisal or persecution. A sponsoring group of substantial citizens would have served to allay most of this fear. The absence of any continuous, active support from prominent citizens or groups also caused some of these victims to ask why they should offer themselves as sacrifices on the altar of community service when respectable elements demonstrated no disposition to inconvenience themselves. Investigations of this kind are generally born of public resentment and indignation over official corruption. They are usually nourished and supported by an aroused community spirit crusading for honesty and decency in its local government. This investigation had a somewhat synthetic beginning. It was forced on the city administration by newspaper pressure following certain revelations made by the collector of internal revenue in a speech in San Rafael. The smart politicians then left it, like an orphan, on your doorstep. They were confident it would never survive infancy and were astonished when it began to show signs of fairly robust development. After public interest in this phenomenon had subsided and they had recovered from their own surprise, they quietly set out to smother it while smilingly professing their great love and affection for it. Recommendation for removing or minimizing opportunities for police graft. In this report, various phases of the investigation have been discussed, but there is one, and in my judgment, the most important of all, which has not been touched upon. That is the problem of permanent relief from police graft. I do not mean the complete eradication of corruption, because such an ideal situation is too utopian ever to be realized. However, graft should and can be reduced to and kept at the barest minimum. Police graft has its origin in prostitution gambling and other illegal activities. Prostitution has existed since the beginning of history and will always exist. The same is true of gambling. We learned through the experience of prohibition that people's morals and habits cannot be changed by legislation. Statutes which conflict with the laws of human nature are unenforceable and the open flouting of such laws by a large percentage of the people creates disrespect for the law in general. Those persons, who think that prostitution and gambling are stopped because of prohibitive legislation, must be likened to the ostrich of popular repute. The legal bars against these activities should be removed. They should be licensed and subjected to close supervision and regulation by some agency separate and apart from the Police Department. For instance, prostitution could be placed under the control of the Health Department of the city. The legalizing of prostitution would not increase the volume or extent of it in San Francisco. Under the present arrangement, where it is in direct violation of the law, it has reached the saturation point locally. A greater number of sporting houses and individual prostitutes could not operate profitably in the city. Prostitution is strictly a commercial enterprise and is governed by the same rules of supply and demand as any other business. The laws against prostitution have failed even to curtail it, let alone eliminate it. These laws have simply served to promote corruption. Under the circumstances, the repeal of these laws could produce no harmful effect but, on the contrary, would be a constructive step toward reducing police graft by removing its major source of revenue. The system, at the present time, is in effect a form of licensing with the beneficiaries being a few private individuals and a number of police officers. A legal licensing of prostitution would transfer this income from such persons to the city where it could be put to some beneficial use by the community. A legal license fee should be somewhat lower than the present extortionate tariff and the number of houses permitted should be reduced by closing some of the more undesirable establishments which are chiefly operated by aliens. Even by reducing the houses to a maximum of 100 and the fee to $100 per month, which would be too low in most cases, an income of $120,000 per annum could be realized by the city. It is unnecessary to go into detail on the desirability of licensing prostitution from the health standpoint. Suffice it to say that the registration of prostitutes and a thorough, frequent medical examination of them would be a great aid in reducing the tremendous volume of venereal disease. Strict supervision of prostitution should also aid in saving any girls who might be forced into that life against their will. Bookmaking has always flourished, despite laws against it, and there is no reason to believe it would increase to any appreciable extent if it were legalized. There is no difference in the moral aspect of betting on a horse race at the track and doing the same thing elsewhere. The State could be given a portion of the fees collected to compensate it for any loss it might suffer on bets not placed at the tracks. From my observations, I do not believe there would be any considerable difference in racetrack attendance. Figuring on 150 bookmakers, at only $75 per month, would mean a revenue to the city of $135,000 yearly. Gambling in some of its other forms, as well as other illegal activities, offer a more difficult problem than prostitution or bookmaking, and probably they should be restricted to a greater extent. However, I think a careful study of these activities would lead to the devising of some intelligent method of legalized control. While advocating the legalization of these sundry unlawful businesses, I frankly admit there is little likelihood that such an end can be accomplished. In most instances they are prescribed by State laws almost impossible to repeal because the heavy population in other sections of the State is not as broadminded toward these matters. Even in San Francisco, where such pride is taken in being tolerant and liberal, there are probably few persons with courage enough to lead such a movement. Extra Legal Methods of Control Employed in Other Cities These same conditions have been met elsewhere by following an extra- legal method of handling vice and gambling activities. This system calls for the periodical arrest of offenders, who either plead guilty and are fined a stipulated amount or who put up a fixed amount of bail, in cash, and then forfeit this bail. This practice is successfully followed, at least with prostitutes, in some smaller communities of California, such as Watsonville; I believe, but am not positive, that Stockton does likewise. Phoenix, Ariz., a city of approximately 50,000 population, handles prostitution in this manner. General Pelham D. Glassford, a nationally known police authority and student of law enforcement, who was called upon to reorganize the Phoenix Police Department, wrote as follows on April 28, 1936: "The practice of prostitution has been technically licensed by the police for a period of many years. The women from the 'red light' district are arraigned before the magistrate's court once a month and invariably plead guilty. Those charged with being inmates of a house of prostitution pay a $25 fine; those charged with operating a house of prostitution pay $50. The city derives a revenue from this source of approximately $20,000 a year. On April 20 there were 73 prostitutes known to be operating. The number varies with the season. "The advantages of the existing system are: That practically all prostitutes are known to the police, and can be kept under supervision, the city derives a substantial revenue and prostitution is kept out of the residential districts." (I do not subscribe to this idea, but believe they should be under the supervision of some authority.) An Associated Press dispatch from Salt Lake City, Utah, under date of December 1, 1936, stated as follows: "A campaign to license vice, in protest against police helplessness" was suggested today by a leader of the Salt Lake City's club women. And her plan received immediate approval of Mayor E. B. Erwin. "Mrs. Early Van Cott, president of the Salt Lake district of the Utah Federation of Women's Clubs, proposed the program after a drive by her organization assertedly failed to control alleged gambling activities in the city. "She said she had recommended the licensing of all card rooms as gambling establishments and segregation of houses of vice 'so the city may receive revenue now going to grafters.' To her charges of' police helplessness' in dealing with the underworld activities in the city, Mayor Erwin replied: "I feel various forms of vice have existed throughout all time and, because of the nature of things, will continue forever. "'For that reason I believe that certain forms of activities, which heretofore have been placed in categories of vices, should be legalized; but placed under the most rigid supervision of the authorities.'" New Orleans, a seaport city, more comparable to San Francisco in size and in the broad minded, liberal character of its population, also follows the system outlined. I am informed there are other large cities following the same course. I am personally a believer in the orderly process of the law and am opposed to law enforcement agencies violating the law. The soundness of this doctrine is indisputable and as a general rule, the State should not deviate from it. However, there are many intelligent people, who have interested themselves in this subject and, after careful study, decided that, as a choice between two evils, the lesser one should be favored. They take the position that experience over a period of many years has amply demonstrated that the activities in question cannot be stamped out by legislation but that this same legislation has created and fostered a condition of corruption which is far more serious in its effects; that, since we cannot overcome both of these problems, we should at least eliminate one and bring about a more rigid supervision of the other. They take a practical, common sense attitude toward the situation and believe that this is a case where the end justifies the means. I do not necessarily urge superseding the law with this indirect licensing plan, but I believe it has much merit and that its possibilities should be thoroughly canvassed. It is a system which could only be applied with the joint sanction and cooperation of the police commission, the District Attorney and Municipal Court Judges. These three public agencies would not, and should not, be expected to assume the responsibility for applying such a plan without strong public and press support and the assurance that such support would be lasting. Respectfully submitted, ATHERTON AND DUNN By Edwin N. Atherton. #### Thanks to the San Francisco Library History room.
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