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Newspaper Page Text
CITY HALL POLITICIANS EYE JOS. GEARY AS
POLICE TRIAL BEGINS SCANDAL FEARED
Hearing of the- first slot machine
case was begun by the city civil serv
ice board this morning when Capt.
Thomas J. Caughlin of the Stock
yards station went to, trial on charge
of allowing maqhines of a gambling
type to operate in his district
Before the hearing opened there
was a rumor passed around to the
effect that Joseph Cfeary, Democratic
member of the civil service board
and the only member of the com
mission who doesn't play politics
with the Thompson-Lundin crowd,
was prepared to check any move to
make the police captains the "goats"
' for the purpose of protecting Lundin
It is Geary's plan, according to the
"dope" passed around the City Hall,
to urge a complete inquiry into the
whole affair if the administration
members of the board show any dis
position to force the captains to
"walk the plank" without probing
the secret charges that; politicians
gave the word to the slot machine
owners to "go ahead" and told the
police to "lay off because everytnlng
was fixed at the City Hall."
But the Thompson-Lundin mem
bers of the board showed no ambi
tion to get "rough" this morning.
The hearing was as peaceful as a
ladies' sewing circle meeting. Cap.
Coffin, Charley Frazier and Atty
Howard Sprogle said nothing during
the morning's session.
Capt. Caughlin brought an attor
ney dear to the heart of tne Chicago
Tribune with him. He was Perry S.
Patterson, associate of Bertie Mp
Cormick and West Hammond cru
sader. As predicted in The Day Book
last week Caughlin used as his de
fence an old opinion of the corpora
tion counsel in which slot machines
were held to be legal. Patterson used
this in a long speech made to the
commission and the commission
made no point 61 the later ruling of
Corp. Counsel Ettelson in which slot
machines were declared illegal.
Shelby M. Singleton, sec'y of the
Citizens' ass'n, who started the
trouble, testified that three investi
gators employed by the ass'n
brought in the evidence on which
the charges were founded. The in
vestigators were: Jos. A. Thoney,
who was a leading member of Funk
houser's morals squad when they
were running wild through the city;
W. W. Scott, at present a strike
breaking guard employed in La Salle,
HI., and M. A. Fullerton. Thoney and
Fullerton testified to finding several
machines that paid money, if you
were lucky, in Caughlin's district.
Patterson went fully into the pasts
of Thoney and Fullerton and brought
in the intimation that Thoney had
gotten into trouble while employed
by the street car company.
Singleton, while on the stand, was
asked why he didn't furnish Caugh
lin with the evidence of slot machine
gambling found in his district so that
he might try to drive it out He re
plied that he didn't thirik Caughlin
would hate taken action if he had
At the conclusion of the hearing
Patterson nd Robert E. Crowe, att'y
for the police department, asked that
the charges be dismissed because of
the ruling which upheld slot ma
chines and because Caughlin did not
know that machines of the gam
bling type existed- in his dictrict.
Cap. Coffin overruled their motion
and continued the case until Mon
day. There was no mention of T. C.
Asplund, admitted slot machine
agent, and Frank Buzsin, 29th ward
politician, being called as witnesses.
Buzsin, who is the administration
leader in the stockyards district, was
recently suspended from his $2,500-a-year
job as chief investigator in
the city att'y's office because of a ru
mor that he had told Caughlin to let
the machines run. Buzsin has not