Newspaper Page Text
VOLUME XCI-NO. 178.
PRICE FIVE CE1STTS. SAN FBANCISCO,5 -TUESDAY, sM&Y^2T^ 1902. Warden Aguirre and his cronies have secured quantities of horsehair and silk for chairs and lounges and the articles have been charged to "general repairs" for the prison. The Call is prepared to prove that in a certain month lumber amounting to $975 was purchased for the prison at San Quentin and in the falsified books was charged to the jute- The records of the San Quentin prison show that considerable furniture, made in the prison, has been shipped to the city of Los Angeles. At the proper time The Call will present the proof, showing to whom the furniture was shipped. In charging that Governor Gage is the beneficiary of the felonies com mitted by Warden Asruirre and his convict aides The Call will later on present further proof. Warden Aguirre has in the past few months utilized the services .of .convicts to make elaborate household and of fice furniture. The material for the same has been obtained by fraud. The lumber has been charged up. to the prison jutemill and other accounts: convicts supported by the State have been employed for months in making the furniture, and the articles have been presented by Warden Aguirre to his friends or converted to his own use. The making of furniture for the pub lic in the State prisons by the labor of convicts is absolutely prohibited by act cf Legislature. Furniture Is Made. Having presented proof of felonious transactions as to obtaining goods by means of forged bills, prepared by con vict bookkeepers, and the purloining: of large quantities of State food supplies by fraud and falsification of oubiic rec ords at the instigation of Aeuirrc. The Cail to-day exposes the methods used by Warden Aguirre in presenting con vict made furniture to his friends and other acquaintances in direct violation of law, the material for the furniture be ing obtained by fraud and falsification of public records. collars for the State penitentiary across the bay. ¦ ¦¦'. i \yiien;representatiTe« of .The Call .' irere .Informed last "week by Acting "Warden -ABnl rre V thnt no • fa rn ltn re Tra'»; r beina:.;.njade; In San Qnentln ¦prl»oi\. -he.' lied." : . .1" >'%'•.'- j''££ tlXi; '. ".'/. OriJ-t h.e^J day., t h a t ; . h e . wa n inter- Vlevvied ".the vfolloWlng articles ; of the'jaVticles has been charRcd to sundry (accoitnti ,and^the V J books ¦: and" records have been ;fai sifted by ; convict. clerks. acting ominstructions. in order to cover .tip -the transactions. ._¦-'...'/.,' ¦ " V- AVarden-; Aguirre hasemployed many convicts in riiakinp: furniture since the ; day he asstimedofiice at. San Quentin ¦ prison.;. Bedroom sets, office furniture, dihingVroom .'articles, have .been made ; ait the prison a'nd presented by the War- j deri; to: Kisr favorites. The material for best known' to himself. Even if. he cred • ited it to the prison account: lie violated the law,, \yhich prohibits the sale of con ;vict-niade;furnittire. This bedstead, of, ;handsonic: proportions, is made of fine, .mahogany, ¦__ and many, weeks of convict labor were: on the delicate carving. ;The : bedstead was seen yester-' dayby representatives of The Call, and a. photograph of it is published in this paper- to-day.;' : \ ".' :" What 'Aguirre did with the '$45 \Convicts Are Busy, v V ; Tlie visitors ordered J a' bedstead toi be made on these terms. .Warden, Aguirre received . $45 for. the j'wqod ¦ of . 'which the bedstead was, made, andjthe work on^the" piece of bedroom furniture • • was; ; per formed bV convicts.;. . -. "/^ The visitors were delighted with the article and Warden Aguirre was asked where, such' products of prison rwork Avere for sale.. .• , '¦• . The Warden informed his. guests that the law prohibited the sale of convict made furniture, but he would, have a similar, bedstead "made ;,by. the'eonvkts if his -guests paid for the material. o ••' ' Some 'time ago^a'promineht- business man of San- FranciscoV.accompanied'.by; his wife, visited Warden Aguirre at'Sari'* Quentin prison. The. : visitors were shown through certain 'portions of., the prison, and among other things shown to them was an elaborately carved/ma-; hogany bedstead. ' -'-V ¦¦;. .-] many of his' f fiends. 'ord shows that convict-made furniture was shipped by' Aguirre, the, Warden, to Los Angeles and : to Sah : Francisco .-to furniture Tvere being completed In the prison "by convict labor: »f ¦ : For ."Warden M. G.'Asrulrre. ,..' •jj 9 cotom for; inlaid, tablet), tops nil finished. •1. "roKcrroort Bed, car-red. .; 1 Sidebonrd, carved. ' Ift Inrse Armchair*, pnrtly fin-. Inhed. " IS fancy Chairs, carved. »- . . ... ' .; 2 Dre^slng-Canes, carved. \ ..General Overseer ' J. . A. Asrulrre,; brother ot the "Warden, haw been slated : for . r the • position of: Bank Commissioner' to wucceed \ Barney Murphy. In anticipation of ¦ecu*. Inc thin position J. A. ARuljrre ham ¦ielected r. house In Berkeley nnd a" complete ; wet .' of furniture .for the dwelling;" Trns belngf ' irorked. upon by convict* lust vrcek In San Qnentln prison. ~^~Fov~eC" friend of "Warden A«nlrrp. llyingr_in Lai "Angeles/ whose name. is McClure, /the following fnrni tnre'!na«; being prepared ln*t vreek In.Snn Qacntlm - ,1: DOOlvCRHF. ;'. '.i Dressing-Cnse. \ . These, article*, for McClure. arc of ; quarter. .'oak. i of the best • quality. - ; Since the' visit of representatives : of The contents of the wharf 'shipping book arc known, however, ; and the rec- ' Acting Warden, j. A. Aguirre refused to show the book,- even defying the or der of President Fitzgerald of theBoard of Prison Directors that, all the records of the prison should be produced for in spection ' by The Call's .representatives. At the very time that Acting Warden J. A. Aguirre, representing his brother, Warden M. G. Aguirre, stated. that no convicts were employed in making fur niture or that any convict-made furni ture was in the prison he knew that a corps of inmates of the prison was en gaged in making furniture ior the War den and himself and friends: ; that a valuable stock of the articles was on hand. In making, a demand on. Acting Warden J. A. Aguirre to produce the "wharf shipping book" representatives of The Call sought to learn to what points the records showed the shipping of some of the convict-made furniture. he was lying and he had good reason for denying that any furniture was. being made in the prison or that any furniture was to be seen there as the product of convict labor. . PHOTOGRAPH OF PRISON T MADE BEDSTEAD GIVEN BY; WARDEN AGUIRRE TO A FRIEND IN SAN FRANCISCO. Continued on Page Two. ".When -I first; read the, accusations in The' Call I .was utterly dumfounded. Since the' first "article appeared I have" read every- line '.printed with intense interest and concern because if what The Call as serts is . true can be proven, it is a very serious matter. and .the Warden is placed in "a" very bad condition.'; The matter will of -course' be rigidly investigated b>- the Board ; of Prison Directors. This investi-' lotion will. I have no doubt, be at the in stigation of Aguirre.; I understand he has "returned from. Los Angeles and arrived at •the] prison to-day, but I have not seen . . SAN RAFAEL. Cal., May. 26.-J. H. Wlikins, one of the five State Prison Di rectors of San. Quentin. was seen at his home. in this' city" to-night. -When asked what „ he .thought, of the sensational charges made by The Call against War den Martin, Aguirre he said: Prison Director Declares That .He Desires the Guilty- Parties Punished. WILKINS WANTS . - ; INVESTIGATION destroying some of the prison's records has been discussed. "Well, I should think so. Personally X was always in favor of paying the War den a stated salary* and then let them pay for all maintenance out of that sura. This $100 is only for food. All servants in the house are convicts, the house rent costs nothing, and even water and gscs are furnished him free. There is one b!g meter that acts for the whole prison. The fpod is procured cheaper than any out rider could even get it. Meat, for in stance. The best of it only costs about 6 cents a pound. His coal is furnished at about ?S per ton, whereas I pay $13 or $14 for the same kind. There are lots of vegetables grown on the prison grounds that are used and don't cost anything. So you see the Warden ought to do a great amount of entertaining on $130 a month. He has done lota of it since ha has been there. -Whether or. not this entertaining > is right and proper ' in the eyes of the taxpayers of the State or whether it should be criticized is a i ques tion.. The Warden necessarily has to en tertain. Sheriffs, Judges* and even Su perior Judges are frequent visitors to the prison. At those times he is supposed to treat them nicely.' It seems to me that it ought to be done on $100. I know I have often asked him if the amount allowed was sufficient * and Martin - VrouW \say it was plenty. In. regard to k these ; night shirts I have no doubt, but what I have slept in them. There are five rooms In the Warden's . house set apart ; for . the Prison Directors. I know there has al- "Now, in regard to the J10O a month al lowed the Warden for maintenance of his house. Should that be ample, Mr. Wil kins?" actual cost- of material and convict labor at about 75 cents per day added. I was not aware that any furniture had been man ufactured within the last three or four years, although I suppose if any was wanted or required the Warden could have it made. If he wished any repairs he could have them dtine." "Do you know that furniture has been made and sold within the last few weeks?" was askedV "No. I am not a-^gre of it.". "Do you know that there is now a large amount under construction?" "No, I was not aware of that, either. You see when it was decided years ago to abandon the manufacture of furniture there was a very large supply of hard wood and other fine material on hand." said Mr. Wilkins. "Until this material was consumed furniture was made, but this was supposed to have been the caae four or five years ago." "Well, you know, years ago the manu facture of furniture -was the chief indus try at the penitentiary.' There was a com plete furniture and sash and door factory there from which* large quantities were turned out. Later this manufacture was only for consumption at State institutions, such as the deaf and dumb 'asylum, etc.. they having 1 first to present proper requi sition papers to the Board of Directors. In recent years this was . abolished and the furniture was only salable to officers of the prison for use in their houses or for use in the prison . offices and apart ments. The officers of the prison getting such furniture would be charged for "Mr. "Wilkins, has the board at any time authorized the manufacture of furniture at San Quentin?" him. neither have I been able to talk with the other members of the board as yet. You ««e I have been away for several months and only returned to California from Mexico last week. Personally I know of nothing: that has transpired at any of the Prison Directors* meetings since Jan uary 28. The board does not meet nntfl June 14 In regular session. Whether or not a special session will be asked for I am not aware." .. The Call to San Quentin prison for the purpose of investigating the records consternation has reigned in the institu tion. A cousin of Warden Aguirre has for two 'days past been busily engaged with a number of convicts in hiding away the furniture that has been made by convicts for ' .> the Warden, his brother and his friend McClure of Los Angeles. Some of the guards have a quantity of. old furniture stored away in the big abandoned furniture factory, and in some of the dismal; rooms the Warden's cousin and convicts have hid den • away the" "hew " furniture, piling up around it the old articles belonging to the guards. The corrupt ring of swindlers and for gers, in control of San Quentin prison are trembling-in their.shoes now that an investigation of affairs is to be held by the Prison Directors. Consultations have been" held by members of the ring and the question of Wilkins Declares If Accused Are Guilty They Must i Be Punished. President Fitzgerald De= mands Call's Charges Be Probed. bers of the San Quentin ring is bearing good results. President R. M. Fitzgerald of the Board of Prison Directors yesterday announced that the gravity of the accusations made by this paper demanded a thorough investiga tion of the affairs of San Quentin prison. The inquiry will be ordered just as soon as the Directors can get to gether and arrange the time for the same. In making charges of fraud, forgery, obtaining goods by false pretenses, misappropriation of public funds, falsi fication of public records and malfeas ance in office against Warden M. G. Aguirre of' San Quentin prison The Call has published but a few samples of the felonies committed by the leading members of the corrupt ring that con trols the disbursement of thousands of laT^ XPOSURE by The Call of 0 v the betrayal of trust on the B& part of Warden M. G. ¦^ *W . Aguirre and other mem- mill, with the exception of $50. The lumber was used for making furniture for Warden Aguirre's friends at the hands of convicts. Acting Warden Lies. Representatives of The Call visited San Quentin prison last week and in. the absence of the Warden requested Act ing Warden J. A. Aguirrc^to be shown : the furniture being made in the prison. "No furniture is being made in the prison," was the reply of the Acting : Warden, "and therefore you cannot sec, men working on those articles.", f . . '¦ On being pressed for "information as," to any work being done by convicts on ¦ any kind of furniture, . Acting Warden j J. A. Aguirre stated that ''perhaps some? of the infirm - prisoners might be cm- I ployed in making a chair or two." * He : refused, however, to allow the "chair or,, two" to be inspectedl . When the Acting Warden made ; the! above statement he knew full well that: /4 THOROUGH investigation of the financial affairs of San Quentin prison is to be made by the S^^Wo^^j^Sl^^^^fcfCJi^^ 'M. Fitzgerald, president of the board, was interviewed yesterday as to the charges of felony made by The Call against W'ardcn M.G. Aguirre and other officials of the penitentiary. President Fitzgerald made v 'the 'following} statement r; . "There will be a most thorough investigation of the charges made by The Call. This mtist be done jn.^ who are accused and to the people of the State. The accusations are of the gravest nature, and the Board of Prison Directors must take cognizance of them. 1 cannot say when , the investigation will.take placci my brother directors I must iconsult with them and Arrange the details of an inquiry. The records of San Quentin prison arc open to the public, and the Warden or any one acting for him has' no right] to rcfus£*anAnspcctio!i of any book, document or paper connected zvith the affairs of the institution." PRISON DIRECTORS TO MAKE A SEARCHING INVESTIGATION OF FORGERY, THEFT AND FRAUD BY SAN QUENTIN OFFICIALS The San Francisco Call.