This case which interests so many readers of the Manual, is a very striking illustration of the animus which pervades our civic politics and which is directed in this instance against a man whose only sin was his ardent efforts for the election of John Purroy Mitchel as Mayor. It seems quite apparent from the investigation by the Grand Jury that Mr. Childs is perfectly innocent of any intent to do anything unlawful and that the case savors of a petty and bitter spirit of animosity on the part of those who instigated it.
Mr. Childs summarizes the results of the investigation as follows :
1st: The clear establishment of the fact that the accounts of the Fusion Committee were kept and returned in more accurate and lawful form than such necessarily large expenditures have ever been kept before in this city.
2nd: That no receipts had been received from corporations or from any unlawful source.
3rd: That every penny of the $1,100,000 had been lawfully expended and accounted for.
4th: The political animus of this investigation was clearly established, for the Democratic reports were taken from Albany and segregated in the District Attorney’s, office without any action, although they showed illegal contributions from corporations and were incomplete and unlawful in innumerable cases.
5th: In the Fusion Committee and City Publicity Committee reports, all payments for speakers and meetings were lumped under that head instead of itemizing the names of the speakers. The report in this form was submitted to the attorney of the Committee and approved by him. Among the speakers were Mr. Sulzer and Mr. Applebaum. The fact that their names did not appear was cited by the District Attorney as illegal and as evidence of conspiracy to receive and corrupt the electorate, although the report was not filed until thirty days after election.
This attack would be of no political use unless connected somehow with some man accused of the crime of wealth, so I, as chairman of the Executive Committee am accused of having conspired with Mr. Sulzer and Mr. Newcombe to corrupt the readers of the Hearst papers and the followers of the local administration in my attempt to forward the election of John Purroy Mitchel. Mr. Newcombe and Mr. Sulzer had absolutely nothing to do with the reports. Personally I was not a member of the City Publicity Committee which made the report. I have never seen the report. I gave no information as to the form of the report except that it must be in every respect lawful and receive before filing the approval of our counsel.
The man who actually made out the report testifies that I gave no instruction as to putting in or leaving out the names of any speakers and our counsel testifies that he approved the report as filed and contends it is perfectly lawful. In this mat-ter no crime or even indiscretion or error was committed by anyone.