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JUDGE WINDES GRANTS HEARING ON PHONE
SALE COUNCIL WAITS RESULT
Judge Windes announced two de
cisions yeserdayjn the case of John
Fitzpatrick, taxpayer- and officer of
Public Ownership league, asking in
junction to stop Mayor Thompson
and "certain aldermen" from selling
the city's rights to the automatic
phone system for $500,000. After ar
gument by Charles P. Schwartz, at
torney for Fitzpatrick, Judge Windes
said the court would follow two lines
1. Motion for temporary injunc
tion would be denied under presump
tion "that mayor and council will do
the right thing."
2. Motion is granted for hearing
on whether a permanent injunction
shall be granted and March 6 fixed
as the date when facts and argu
ments shall be presented qn the al
leged "fraudulent and unlawful" con
tract of sale involved in the ordinance
now before city council.
Chairman Lewis D. Sitts of coun
cil gas-oil committee did not call up
the automatic phone ordinance at the
council meeting yesterday afternoon.
He announced that he does not be
lieve it good public policy for the al
dermen to, vote on a measure while
that measure is being scrutinized in
circuit court under charge of fraud.
John Fitzpatrick said he had no
comment to make on the action of
the day except that he is satisfied
with city council delaying its vote till
court has acted.
Among those present in Judge Win
des' courtroom were Frances Crane
Lillie, Ellen Gates Starr, Margaret
Haley, Morton Lu Johnson, Ben Tetz
laff, Dr. Karl F. M. Sandberg and D.
P. Riordan. Att'y -Schwartz' argu
ment divided as follows:
1. Attempt is now being made to
dispose of the rights and property of
the city in the Automatic Telephone
Co. The value of these rights and
property is $6,300,000, at least The
price of $500,000 is inadequate and
the presumption is that it is fraudu
lent 2. Approval by the city of a large
competing company buying a smaller
one is in violation of the anti-trust
laws which prohibit creation" of mo
nopolies in restraint of trade.
3. Injury will be done taxpayers
through higher burden of taxes and
injury ' will be done phone users
through higher rates.
4. Rights of the city are jeopard
ized by the proposed action of city
council and therefore injunction is
asked while the matter is heard.
Judge Windes then asked two ques
tions: "Does the bill include any de
claration of the mayor that he will
approve of the ordinance?" and "Are
there any allegations of fraud against
individual members of the council?"
"The discrepancy between $500,
000, the sale price, and $6,300,000,
which is the evident minimum value
of the property, is the chief basis for
the allegation of fraud," replied
"Under the circumstances I think
I ought to deny the motion at this
time, under the presumption that the
mayor and the city council will do
the right thing at this time," said
LETTERS WARN DANGER TO PAS
SENGERS ON LINER
New York, Feb. 22. Anonymous
letters, warning against taking pas
sage on liner Espagne because of
danger of submarine attacks, have
been received by Americans intending
to sail on the ship, according to re
ports reaching steamship officials to
day. Espagne sails Thursday.
Mrs. F. Banker Hillton today made
public a letter which she had re
ceived. It is similar to anonymous
warnings received by Americans who
sailed on Lusitania and lost their
lives when big Cunarder was torpe-"
doed and sent to the bottom.
A-A J 4 fellfiW. .
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