Chicago Daily News
PROF. THOMAS OUSTED FROM
U. OF C. FACULTY
Board of Trustees Dismisses Educator After His Escapade with a Woman.
NEW STORIES ARE AFLOAT
A quorum of eight members of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago late this afternoon voted to dismiss from the faculty of the Midway institution Prof. William I. Thomas, who was found in a room of the Brevoort hotel with Mrs. R. M. Granger, the young wife of an army officer who is serving with the American expeditionary forces in France. When the professor was informed of the action taken by the trustees his voice quavered so that he could hardly be understood over the telephone, so great was his agitation. The evidence in the case was brought to the business offices of the university in the Corn Exchange Bank building by Dean James R. Angell, acting president of the university during the absence of President Harry Pratt Judson, upon whose advice the relations with the scientist were severed.
New Gossip is Busy
University gossip achieved a new twist to the already startling escapade of Prof. Thomas, assistant professor of sociology at the Midway institution. According to those who profess to know the "inside information," Prof. Thomas’ parties were participated in by a well known litterateur and his wife, who assisted the sociologist in arranging meetings with Mrs. Granger.
Despite the astonishment at the apparent laxity in morality exhibited by the propounder of radical theories concerning sex questions, it is probable the professor will escape any punishment other than that of suspension for an indefinite period from the faculty of the school. City, state and federal authorities seem at a loss to find grounds for prosecution. Even the charge of disorderly conduct cannot bring about conviction, declared City Prosecutor Starr this morning, unless it can be proved that this was not the first breach of the law. "Prof. Thomas would have to be in a disorderly house in order to be convicted of disorderly conduct," he said.
At Standstill, Says Clyne
District Attorney Charles F. Clyne stated that the federal case against the professor was at a standstill as far as prosecution was concerned.
"We are still investigating Prof. Thomas’ trip to Washington," said Mr. Clyne. We have as yet nothing to report."
It is doubtful if the federal authorities will proceed against Prof. Thomas because of Mrs. Granger’s statement to Mr. Clyne that she had always paid her fare in making trips in New York and Washington when the professor is said to have accompanied her. It was also intimated at the federal building that the friendship of the savant for high officials in Washington had a mitigating influence.
May Ask State Warrants
State warrants charging a serious offense against Prof. Thomas and Mrs. Granger may be asked, according to rumors in the Criminal court building which said that representatives of the state’s attorney’s office would go before Judge Kearns in the South Clark street Municipal court where municipal warrant charging disorderly conduct were issued Saturday, and request the papers. This is in direct opposition to a statement made by State’s Attorney Hoynes Saturday, when he said that his office would have nothing to do with the case as it was either for the city or the federal authorities to handle.
Prof. Thomas, when seen by a reporter at his home this morning, was in an affable mood and announced that his attorney, Clarence B. Darrow, was preparing a statement to be made public within a few days. He said Mrs. Granger was still a guest in his home, where Mrs. Thomas has taken her to give her a bit of "mothering care."
Case Up Again Friday
The sociologist appeared in morals court alone yesterday and announce that Mrs. Granger was being cared for by Mrs. Thomas.
Judge Frank H. Graham granted a continuance upon agreement from both sides and order the sociologist to appear before him Friday morning at 10 o’clock.
Police authorities are skeptical concerning the illness of Mrs. Granger and will make a determined effort to have he appear in court with the professor Friday.