OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 07, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 8

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-08-07/ed-1/seq-8/

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SERGEL MAKES GAS MILLIONAIRES MERRY IN
BLOCKING SUIT FOR $10,000,000
BY CARL SANDBERG
1 Charles H. Sereel. city treasurer,
meets Sam Insull or Roger Sullivan
on the street today and says, "How
do you do," then insull or Sullivan
can answer:
"Much obliged, Mr. Sergei, ever so
much obliged. That was the best lit
tle lift anybody has given us in the
city hall for quite a while."
Insull is the head money man and
Sullivan the head politics man of the
People's Gas Light & Coke Co. And
City Treasurer Sergei yesterday took
action hich snags for a long time
council committee action to take
away $10,000,000 from the gas trust
which the gas trust has sneaked out
of the pockets of gas consumers of
Chicago through overcharges for gas.
Sergei's action Is a straight smash
at the biggest pre-election, anti-corporation
policy of Mayor Thompson
and of the special committee on gas
appointed by the mayor to go after
the 110,000,000 fund of overcharges
now tied up in the courts.
Sergei announced yesterday he
will pay no money on city warrants
against council special appropria
tions. Never before has any city
treasurer of Chicago got cold feet all
of a sudden and called out:
"Oh, fellow citizens, I am afraid I
am breaking the law. At least, fel
low citizens, I must find out first what
the law is before I put out money on
special appropriations. I am an hon
est man and there is no politics in
this. I wish, Oh, fellow citizenB, to
obey the law."
Sergei has been sitting in the city
treasurer's chair four months. Not,
however, till after Mayor Thompson's
special committee on gaB appointed a
lawyer and appropriated $50,000 to
fight the gas company did Sergei all
of a sudden say the law is holy and
he, the city treasurer, must obey the
law,
choloeical moment for helninc In
sull, Sullivan, John P. Hopkins, John
J. Mitchell, Jim Patten and the merry
gas millionaires. Less than two weeks
ago gas committee named Don
ald Richberg as the lawyer to push
through the gas fight in the courts.
Richberg had just drawn a full
breath, tightened his belt and start
ed for heavy work.
July 17, 1911, council fixed gas
rates to be 75 cents, 1st year; 70
cents, 2d and 3d years; 68 cents, 4th
and 5th years. Gas company got in
junction from Judge Gibbons stop
ping these rates from going Into
effect. City filed bill in equity before
Judge Scanlan. He issued injunction
stopping gas company from charging
over 80 cents and providing that
difference between 80 cents and or
dinance rates should be paid by gas
company to a bank till courts settled
rate question.
This money now runs above ,$9,
800,000. According to Mayor Thomp
son and aldermen it belongs to gas
consumers. Thompson says: "Save
your gas bills. You may get a slice
of that $9,800,000." Sergei says:
"Wait till I see what the law is on
whether the council can have me pay
out city money for lawyers and ex
perts." Special gas committee mem
bers are Aldermen Lawley, Capitain,
Merriam, Nance, Richtel, UtpateL
The mayor promised from the stump
before election that this committee of
these aldermen would be appointed.
o o
THE MEXICAN SITUATION
Washington, Aug. 7. Gen. Car
ranza has formally notified Sec. Lan
sing that he is willing toopen peace
negotiations with Gen, Villa
Lansing Baid he did not lay It be
fore conference of Latin-American
diplomats Friday but it was deemed
significant that Gen Scott was Order
ed tn tha hnrripr ImmprHntpIv nftor"
exssiJ-fjJQS. was ceoeiyed
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