M’CANN VERDICT SPURS
Prosecutor, After Conviction of Police Inspector, Plunges into New
ELTON LOWER A TARGET
Many Expressions of Surprise at the Finding of the Jury Against the Bluecoat
While Chicago reeled yesterday from the surprise of the verdict which found Police Inspector Edward McCann guilty of extorting bribes from the resort keepers of the Desplaines street vice district, State’s Attorney Wayman plunged still breathless into a campaign of new investigations.
His course three the shadow of a great question mark over the city. The question was:
"What will Wayman do next?"
"Get after the men higher up if they exist," was the response flung back by the champions of the prosecutor.
Just where the lines of Wayman may lead no man at present can say, but the broad gossip of politicians and officeholders, including those "close" to Wayman gave many hints of what he hopes to do. Wayman himself said nothing.
Another development in the situation of general anticipation of bombshells was a statement at the state’s attorney’s office to the effect that Wayman will demand the official head of Police Inspector William P. Clancy of the stockyards district. A transcript of Clancy’s confession of negligence while assigned to duty in the Desplaines street district was prepared by the state’s attorney. It is scheduled to go to the police trial board today.
After Lower’s Scalp Also
On the heels of this sensation fell a report that Wayman has set out to get the scalp of Elton Lower, president of the city civil service commission. The basis of the attack was laid in a contention that Mr. Lower is receiving $2,000 more salary than Mr. Wayman things he is entitled to under the law. Mr. Lower gets $3,000 under the law. The council gives him $2,000 more by virtue of an appropriation. The intentions of the state’s attorney were described as contemplating a drastic charge against the official.
Mr. Lower explained that he was not worried by the report.
"The finance committee of the city council voted me my salary of $5,000," he said. "I have earned it, too. The civil service act places the salary of a commissioner at $3,000, but the corporation counsel of Chicago decided that the council had a right to vote the increase.
Urge Wayman for Governor
One result of the day’s victory was the advancement, by Mr. Wayman’s most enthusiastic friends, of his name as a possible gubernatorial candidate. They were anxious to hail him as a second Folk, but he himself preserved discreet silence. His admirers point out the parallel that Folk began by cleansing St. Louis of graft.
The feature of graft investigation in the levee districts furnished material for exciting conjecture. Reiterated stories were current that Detective Jeremaih Griffin, under indictment on a charge similar to that which resulted in the conviction of McCann, is expected to seek immunity from prosecution by making a confession involving others. "Mike the Pike" Heitler of McCann case notoriety is locked upon by the state’s attorney as promising material to put between the rollers. Heitler is under numerous indictments. McCann himself is said to be within the scope of Mr. Wayman’s hopes in the way of possible admissions.
Indictment of certain witnesses for the defense in the McCann trial were presaged by persons in touch with the state’s attorney.
McCann’s conviction on a charge carrying with it a penitentiary sentence was a surprise and created profound speculation. The conviction, if not set aside on appeal, carries with it a sentence of one to five years in the penitentiary and a fine of $2,000.
May Turn Fire on Shippy
With the conviction of McCann viewed as the capture of a first redoubt. Wayman in sequence, according to report, is expected to direct his fire at former Chief of Police Shippy, now in Europe.
When McCann was cross examined on the witness stand by State’s Attorney Wayman he was asked why 17 Halsted street was rented to "Monkey Faced Charley" Genker after Jennie Streeter had been ejected.
"You had better see George Shippy about that." was McCann’s retort. "He told me to leave Genker there as the place had been used as a resort for twenty-five years."
Q. — Did you intend to keep women out of that house, and why?
A. — Yes, because it was a store front and the Pacific Garden mission complained about it.
Q. — Why was another disorderly house allowed to open there?
A. — I don’t know. I suppose some one got to Shippy.
Q. — Who got to him ?
A. — I don’t know; I suppose one of the Franks.
City Officials Defer Comment
Mayor Busse, Chief Steward, and other city officials declined to give their opinions of the McCann verdict, limiting their remarks to their official relationship with the convicted officer.
"I haven’t read the testimony," said the mayor. "If there is any action — I don’t know whether any is to be taken or not — it will be taken by Chief Steward. That is his department."
"I shall have to take up the case with the law department and the civil service commission," said the chief. "I shall ask the corporation counsel for an opinion of McCann’s status in connection with the department before I shall know what action, if any, is necessary."
"It wouldn’t do for me to discuss the case," said Assistant Chief Schuettler.
"What I know of the case I have gleaned from the papers," said Corporation Counsel Brundage. "From them I had received the impression that the verdict would be one of the acquittal, but the jurors are the best judges of the evidences. I don’t feel that the conviction of an officer is a reflection on the city administration."
Griffin Ready to Face Trial
Jeremiah Griffin, McCann’s detective who was indicted with his convicted chief on the charge of receiving bribes for the protection of the west side levee resorts, spent the day with his attorney, Charles E. Erbstein, preparing for the trial of the detective which they believe will begin soon.
Griffin laughed at the reports that he was going to turn state’s evidence to help get the man "higher up," and insisted that he knew nothing to tell that would involve himself or any one else. He had little to say concerning the McCann verdict except that he believed McCann innocent.
"I am ready for trial now," Griffin said, "and I feel certain of acquittal."
Wayman Refutes One Rumor.
Mr. Wayman, the axis of the tumult, strode through the corridors of the Criminal Court building, jerking out one answer to all questions:
"The McCann verdict speaks for itself; I have nothing further to say.
Demands for information concerning the manifold rumors, with a single exception met the same reply. The exception was in the case of a former state senator and a Clark street saloonkeeper, for whom it had been reported that Judge Barnes had issued bench warrants in connection with possible jury tampering. Mr. Wayman denied this story, Judge Barnes also said there was nothing to it. The men in question had been standing close to the juryroom at 11 o’clock Wednesday night while the McCann jury was deliberating. They explained to newspaper men that they were waiting out of simple curiosity because they were friends of McCann.
Frederick Boyer, a witness for the defense whose record was attacked by the state’s attorney in his address to the McCann jury, was the sergeant at arms of the June grand jury and was one of the authors of the resolutions adopted by that body in which the grand jurors thanked Mr. Mayman for his help to the inquisitorial body in its investigations.
Mr. Wayman in questioning Mr. Boyer intimated that the witness had served a term in prison and in his address to the jury waved a telegram which he said came from the war department in Washington and told Mr. Boyer’s record. Objections from counsel of the defense prevented from reading the telegram.
Mr. Boyer was a commissary captain of volunteers in the Philippines. He declares that his army record is clean and that Mr. Wayman can have no evidence to the contrary.
McCann Talks of Verdict
In the twilight of his home, after the first shock of the verdict had been assimilated, Inspector McCann reviewed his live up to and including the hour in the morning when he saw his future set adrift by the verdict of the jury.
"I am a victim of circumstances," he said, speaking slowly, "but this is an awful discouragement to honest police work. From now on every police officer in the city will be cowed by the levee people of the stripe of the Frank brothers. A policeman will be afraid of indictment if he ventures to stop one of these people from breaking the law. All the resort keeper will have to do will be to trump up a lie to the effect that he has paid money to the policeman will stand a chance of getting the same bitter dose that have been handed me.
"Mind you, I am not blaming Mr. Wayman. I consider him one of the most honest and conscientious men it has been my lot to know. His mother and sister live in the same block with me. He believed what the Franks told him, and he believes them now. He was honest. So was the jury. I believe those men in the jury box believed I took money for permitting vice to flourish, just as the Franks said. Inasmuch as they believed it, they did right to vote as they did, for I believe in a man doing right as he sees it.
Defended by Policemen
"I feel that it is to my credit that, out of the 4,250 policemen on the Chicago force, only Inspector Stephen K. Healy and Capt. John Rehm could be found to testify against me. They hunted for others, but couldn’t fid them. I hope the families of Inspector Healy and Capt. Rehm feel better than my family feels tonight.
"Healy is in command in a district which the July grand jury wanted to investigate. He does not know how many improper places there are in his district, but I know how many there were in mind. And I did the best I could to put the chain on them and make them keep within the bounds of the law. The fact that I allowed the places to run at all is not valid argument against me, seeing that they had been there for fifty years. Every sensible person knows that. I couldn’t have been very considerate of them, seeing that I made 10,726 arrests while I was there.
"The Franks simply unloaded their wrongdoing upon me so as to save themselves. Mr. Wayman went after graft roughshod and they saw the handwriting on the wall. They fled to cover and they got to cover at my expense and the expense of my family.
Sustained by Wife’s Confidence
"That best of women who honored me by becoming my wife is my strongest prop. Her faith and trust in me is worth more than all the honor and riches in the world. She believes me, she stands by me with her hand in mine. With such a wife, I cannot give up."
"Men like Dean Sumner and Father Quille and a host of others believe me. I am not without friends, thank God! I want to justify their faith in me before the world. Many more would have come forward to testify for me had they not been intimidated. They knew lies would be told to the state’s attorney and they would get indicted for things they never did. Especially was this true of members of the police department. I shudder to think of the whip the police department will have to face now.
"My life has been rough and ready. My lawyers will attend to the necessary legal steps in my fight. In their meantime Edward McCann will stay home, wash the windows, and do his utmost to be a good citizen of Englewood.
Patrick McCann, father of the inspector, was deeply grieved when he left Chicago.
Still Expects an Acquittal.
Col. James Hamilton Lewis of counsel for the defense commented on the verdict with deliberation in his office this afternoon.
"I was surprised at the verdict," said Col. Lewis. "I could not see how it could be a verdict of "guilty."
"I sincerely congratulate Messrs. Wayman, Lundgren and Smith on their success as lawyers in producing such a result through such witnesses — a result that I felt was not even to be expected.
"However, I am of the conviction that the verdict must be set aside and a new trial granted.
The attorneys of Inspector McCann and Mr. Wayman probably will meet tomorrow or some day next week when the date for arguments for a new trial will be agreed upon.
Dean Walter T. Sumner of the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, one of the inspector’s most insistent champions, in commenting on the verdict, said:
"I don’t know when I have been so staggered as I have been today. I don’t know what to say, except that I still believe in the innocence of Inspector McCann."
"In the first place, I felt it my duty to take the witness stand and stand by him as I did. It is impossible for me to be convinced by this evidence that he is guilty."
Shock for McCann’s Friends
The conviction of McCann fell like the blow of a hammer. When court convened the rumor had spread that a verdict had been reached, but nobody knew what it was.
The faces of the jurymen were grave and inscrutable. McCann’s face was as inscrutable as the jurors’. Judge Barnes waited, leaning his chin upon his hand. State’s Attorney Wayman remained at ease, watching the proceedings.
"Gentlemen, have you arrived at a verdict?" was the formal question of the court.
"We have," answered Foreman Charles A. Gregory, handing a folded paper to the clerk of the court. The clerk unfolded the paper and in clear voice read:
"We, the jury, find the defendant, Edward McCann, guilty in the manner and form described in the indictment."
For a full minute there was no sound. All eyes instinctively turned upon the defendant and were riveted there. Perhaps the veins of his neck bulged a little and his face hardened a bit, but there were no other signs.
"Your honor, I desire to make a motion for a new trial," said Mr. Neely, crisply.
"Very well, then," said the court, "the present bail will continue to the time of argument for a new trial."