December 1, 1903

Grand Rapids Herald

Page Ten

(Excerpts)

Secret No Longer

McGarry Took the Lead.

Q. What was the first thing you did in an effort to make a contract?

A. I was introduced to Mr. Cameron by Mr. McGarry. McGarry called me over to his office.

Q. When was that?

A. That was some time in June, 1900. It was right after Judge Newnham and I went to Chicago to borrow some money; perhaps a week or two after that; I think it was some time along the first of June.

Q. Now, will you tell us, as near as you now recall, what occurred when you got there?

A. Mr. Cameron was not there at this time; he said that he had some client here who desired to make a contract with the city to furnish it with a water supply, and there was an opportunity for me to make $4,000 or $5,000. I said to him that I did not desire to discuss the matter upon any such basis as that. The conversation was very short. I said I did not care to enter into it. And he said to me, "Well, I wish you would think it over and let me know tomorrow." That was about all the conversation that was had at this time. I did so. I went out and left him, and thought it over that night.

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Introduced to Cameron

Q. Now, you say you considered this matter in your mind that night, and the next day what did you do?

A. I went down to Mr. McGarry and I told him that I had considered the matter, and if I could make satisfactory arrangements with him or his clients' that I would enter into it; and then he said he would like to introduce me to Mr. Cameron, and I could make my bargain with Mr. Cameron; and he called Mr. Cameron in front an outer office and introduced him to me and went out himself. Cameron said to me that he was here to get a contract; he didn't care anything about what it cost; he represented men of plenty of money, and he was satisfied that I was in a position to get the contract for him, and if I would do it I could set my own price practically. And I told him at that time that I would take the matter up on the payment of $25,000 down and $75,000 contingent upon the obtaining of the contract. Mr. McGarry came in and he repeated to Mr. McGarry in substance the talk that he had with me, and Cameron said that that was satisfactory; and I went away and Cameron went away. Then, after that, meetings were held every day or two.

Were Not to Speak to Each Other.

Q. Was there any understanding at that time as to where you should meet or whether you should meet or whether you should meet or know each other elsewhere?

A. The understanding was that we should not know each other. I told him I would not recognize him, I wouldn't talk with him, I would have no talk with the McGarry end of it at all; that I would take care of the city end of it, and McGarry was to take care of his end and communicate to me anything that they wanted, and Cameron was not to say anything to me or I to him.

Q. Did you have that understanding with McGarry as well as Cameron?

A. I did, yes, sir.

Q. What next occurred about it?

A. Well, we had various meetings along, and Cameron desired me to show to him that the newspapers would support the project. And I told him that that was not necessary; if he didn't think I could take care of it, I didn't care to deal with him. And it was practically left in that situation at that time. The matter drifted along, and there were various conversations and talks, and finally culminated in Taylor sending the $25,000 here to the State bank.

Q. Was there anything said by McGarry about getting an opinion from you to use in connection with the deal?

A. There was. He wanted I should write an opinion; and, in fact, he wrote an opinion for me, and wrote me a letter, mailing the letter to me and the opinion that he desired me to sign which I refused to sign and never did sign, I think McGarry told me he signed it and wanted me to sign one that he could use to show them in case they wanted to see the original. In substance it was stating the estimated valuation of the city and the bonded indebtedness, and that the city never had defaulted in its interest charges, the amount of water that was used and where it was used from and the necessity of having a pure water supply.

Q. Did you say that subsequently Mr. Taylor sent out $25,000?

A. Now, that is who they said it was. I never saw Mr. Taylor until the trial of my case. Mr. McGarry told me it was Taylor.

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Q. What alderman did you talk with?

A. I talked with Alderman McCool and Alderman Ellen in the First ward and in the Second I talked with Alderman DePagter, and in the Third with Captain Muir, in the Fourth ward Mlachi Kinney, in the Fifth ward with Donovan and Schriver, in the Sixth ward with Mol and Ghysels, in the Seventh ward with Phillips and Johnson, None in the Eight and none in the Ninth. In the Tenth ward with Stonehouse, in the Eleventh ward with Hodges and Lozier, in the Twelfth ward with McLachlin and Slocum. And I talked with Bisselll of the board of public works and Dudley Waters of the board of public works. I said to them there was a matter which was going to be brought before the council in relation to getting a water supply and that the people were here and desired to put up some money, and that there was an opportunity for them all to make some money out of it, and in each instance I detailed the amount practically.

Q. What did you tell them?

A. At first they were to have $1,000, and afterwards the amount was raised between McGarry and I as to the other fellows. They were to give bonds and then each alderman was to have $5,000 in bonds which should be turned into cash as soon as the contract was executed.

Wanted to Quiet Renihan

Alderman Renihan had been making considerable fuss in the council, and while we had a sufficient number to pass it, I thought it was wise to see if he could not be kept quiet. Some people had said they could reach him, and I thought of Albers. I knew they were great friends. I went down to Dr. Deries and took the matter up with him and asked him if he knew Albers and he said he did, he was doctoring him then, and I asked him if he would see Albers and have him see Renihan. I wanted Renihan taken care of in a matter I had then before the council. I did not relate very much of it to him further than to tell him what I wanted him to do.

I told him there was a plan in which I was going to make sufficient amount of money to cover the shortage"Dr. DeVries knew I had a shortage at the bank; I told him during election, spring election of 1900. I was being pressed then and was very much worried one dy and told the doctor, and he said, well, if I can do anything that will help you out of this hole. Lant. I will be glad to do it, but I don't want to get mixed in this thing. Anyhow, he said he would see Albers and have him see Renihan. I told him that I would give Renihan $5,000 in bonds, or Albers and he could split it up as they saw fit, and Doc told Albers that, so he reported to me, and Albers went to Renihans

Thought He Had Renihan

Q. What did Devires report to you?

A. He reported to me that Albers saw Renihan and Renihan agreed to accept $3,000 of the bonds, and that Albers was going to take $2,000 for his services, and that night when Renihan came up to the council I knew the condition of affairs. The deal was supposed to be closed that day. They wanted I should give them the bonds, but I wouldn't do it until after Renihan had put himself on record in council that night, and Renihan talked with me and was very favorable to the proposition where heretofore he had been against it, and he also for the first time said to me that it might be a good thing, and talked along that line. He would not agree, however, to vote for it. He had put himself on record, he said, so much against it that he would not vote for it, but he would not talk against it, and that is all I asked him to do. I didn't care how he voted. I didn't want him to do any talking against it, and that is what he agreed to do and accepted the $3,000 for.

Q. That is what DeVries reported to you?

A. That is what DeVries reported that Albers reported to him.

Q. Did you talk with Renihan about the matter in any way?

A. I only talked with Renihan to see whether what Albers had reported was true, and I arrived at the conclusion that it was.

Q. What was your agreement with the alderman in full about that?

A. My agreement was at first that they were to get $1,000 and later after the thing stewed along and got before this committee and I had succeeded in raising the eastern money through McGarry and to give a large amount of bonds, $225,000 I think it was, then I increased each alderman, agreed to give him $5,000 in bonds. Now there is one other party that was brought into it right along at the time that the first resolution went to the council. Russell Thompson came to me one night when the resolution went in the council and he charged that it was my scheme and stood talking to me at my desk, and I said to him, well, you don't want to talk with me here, you come into my office and I said it was that it would be right for him to understand it and took him in and discussed the matter all over with him and agreed the matter all over with him and agreed to pay him $1,000 and also agreed to give him later $5,000 of bonds, and finally did pay him the same as I did the alderman.

Come down from the reservoir at the time the reservoir was being fixed Dudley Waters and I walked down the hill one night and I took the matter up with him, and I said it was a matter in which all the boys were making some money, and he said he had enough money, he didn't care to make any money in the matter. I said if you don't want to make any money you won't do anything to head off the rest of them, will you? He said he would not, and he said if he was going to make any bargan he would make it with the New York parties, and I said all right if you will do that why it is satisfactory. He agreed with me that he would not interfere in any way, and at each of those meetings if he could not vote as I wanted him to vote that he would absent himself from the meeting and let the matter go along without any interference, which he did, too, and I have talked with him at various times along, and later he told me he had made arrangements with the New York parties, and Inman, the engineer that was here told me that Waters had made arrangements in New York. I knew he went to New York a good deal, but whether he did or not I don't know.

Says Bissell Knew About It.

I had a talk with Corey Bissell along the same lines I did with the aldermen, and made the same kind of bargain with him, that he would look after the matter; and Bissell also knew about my shortage, knew the condition I was in. And he said he would take the matter up with the board of public works and do what he could.

How Money Was Distributed.

Salsbury explained that he took some of the money from MacLeod and bet freely on election in the Peninsular club. He said he lost about $8,000. Accounting for the rest of the fund, Salsbury said:

"After election I took out $10,000 for the council and for the outside parties, like Bissell and Thompson, I think those were the only two outside of the council that I figured in on that. And I gave George Perry $13, 750. I gave the Democrat $13,750. I took out $10,000 for the council. I had paid Mr. Conger $10,000 previous to that, and the balance I kept. I know the balance was pretty small."

Q. Now, suppose you tell us, as near as you can now, with your present figures, if you have any, what you paid to the aldermen.

A. I paid to Mr. McCool $500. I paid Mr. Ellen $350. I paid Mr. De Pagter $350. He is of the Second. I paid to Captain Muir $500. I paid to Malachi Kinney $350. I paid to John Donovan $500. I paid to Schriver $350. I paid to Mol $350. I paid to Ghysels $350. I paid to Charley Phillips $1,000. I paid to Charley Johnson $350 or $400, I cannot give the exact ammount there, it was either $350 or $400. I paid to Stonehouse $350. I paid to Lozier and Hodges each $500. I paid Slocum $500 and I think $350 or $400 to McLachlan. I paid Corey Bissell $500 and I paid Russell Thompson $500. I paid Ike Lamoreaux $1,500.

Q. When was this money paid to these people that you have now mentioned?

A. Well, I paid the aldermen, all of them, one night after council"or before council, I think it was. They came in my office up to the city hall and I gave them an envelope with the money in it, and that same time I paid Russell Thompson after the council was over, I paid Ike Lamoreaux the $1,500, I think, before that, $1,000 at one time and $500 at another. I paid Bissell the same night, because he was up to the council that night.

Q. Tell about the appointment of the special water committee, if you know how they happened to be appointed.

A. Well, I took it up with the mayor and I had what I considered the strongest men in the council appointed on that committee; that is, Mr. Forbes, Captain Muir, Mr. McCool, Clark Slocum, whom I considered the leaders and strongest men in the council. I wanted Mr. Forbes appointed on the committee because all efforts I had made had been unsuccessful in the way of reaching him, and I had never felt that he was a man that could be approached. Tom Doran, too, I figured the same about Doran. I had him appointed on that committee with a view of convincing them that it was a logical argument, which I did do with the assistance of Perry.

Q. I understand you to say you never had any talk with Mr. Dorna or Mr. Forbes about any money?

A. I never did.

Q. Never offered them any money?

A. Never, sir.

Q. You said you had a talk with the mayor about the committee and its make-up?

A. I did, talked it all over with him and named the committee myself before they were appointed, and talked with various councilmen abo