FRANKS CONFESS GRAFT IN
Brothers Who Own Resorts Describe Alleged Collection Method of McCann.
HE REPLIES "ALL LIES"
Inspector Says There Is Not a Word of Truth in Statements to Grand Jury.
The Frank brothers, Louis and Julius, the chief witnesses against Inspector Edward McCann in the graft charges, last night made detailed statements accusing the inspector of graft and drawing the alleged lines of a system of tribute with precision of speech. They admitted they had told the grand jury their stories during the day and asserted that they felt "relieved" to get the stories of the "white slave trade" before the public. The stories were the acme of sensationalism.
They told of meetings with McCann and of dialogues which they said took place between themselves and the police official. Moreover, they accused the Inspector of clutching money paid as tribute in his hands as he sat in his office. They said the Inspector kept a book with the names of payers of tribute regularly listed and that contributions to him were ticketed with the names of those who paid them. Their stories were rich in detail and purported step by step to trace the alleged graft system in the Desplaines street levee, where they are saloonkeepers and holders of real estate said by McCann to be used for immoral purposes.
Incidentally, it might be mentioned that the Frank Bros.’ saloon at Halsted and West Madison streets for years has been regarded by the police as a rendezvous for the undesirables who thrived in that part of the west side.
McCann Says "Pack of Lies."
The charges of the Frank brothers left Inspector McCann unmoved in his attitude of defiance and confidence that he will be able to vindicate himself.
"A pack of lies and falsehoods of the first water," was the way the Inspector characterized the statement made by Louis Franks when it was read to him in the evening.
"There is not a word of truth in that confession," declared the inspector. "I can’t say much more than I have said. These charges against me are unfounded and what he says is not so. I don’t know why he should make such charges against me unless is is because he is in trouble himself and thinks he can escape by trying to ‘get’ me.
"Franks often used to come over to the station, but when he says he came to me in my office, that I closed the door and took protection money from him, either one time or a dozen, he lies. He used to come over to bail out people — he bailed them out free of charge — and I think I understand now why he did it.
"He could bail out women until 1 o’clock, according to our rule of holding them until that hour to keep them off the streets. He loafed about the station and often used the phone, but when he says he ‘fixed’ resort keepers with me in my office, he lies again. That’s all I can say and all I care to say now."
Says He Was Go-Between
Julius Frank in his statement to a reporter for THE TRIBUNE said:
"It is true I am the man who collected the graft and turned it over to Inspector McCann. I have told the entire story to the grand jury and I am not at liberty to tell the details, but in a general way I can state that I have turned large sums over to McCann directly.
"I never knew McCann from Adam until he came into my place one day. He told me it was the regular thing for many of the resorts to pay for protection and he said he was not satisfied the policemen collecting the money were turning it all in to him.
"He suggested that as I knew almost every one in the district that would be affected by the payment of money to the police that I should collect the money and give it to him. I became friendly with him and did as he suggested.
"I can say, as I told the grand jury, that not one cent of the dirty money staid in my hands. I have been successful in business and did not need the money. As long as I did as I was asked everything was all right, but matters became so that the inspector got after me. Then I decided to tell the whole story and have it settled.
Claims All Paid Tribute
"I can say from my own knowledge that there is not one resort on the west side that did not pay protection money to McCann. I will not state the amounts, as I have been instructed not to go into details.
"One of my close friends wished to open a hotel and I know that he had to pay $50 before he could open the place and then had to continue paying money.
"The inspector, as I understand, says he never received any money from me. All I have to say is that when the case comes to court it will be shown directly where, when and how he received the money, and there will be no doubt about the matter. Everyone paid according to the business they were doing.
"I suppose there will be an awful fight. The inspector has a lot of people hypnotized so they believe he is the most honest man on earth. I understand that Miss Jane Addams of Hull House will testify for him. I do not know her excepting by sight, but I understand that he kept her informed about the places in the district and she thought he was trying to drive them out.
"There are two ministers who are strong for the inspector for the same reason. He told them the location of places and they believed he was keeping after the resorts. I have promised not to tell who the ministers are, as it would simply enable the defense to prepare for the case by letting them know that their friends are known.
Wanted to Be "Friendly"
"The whole thing has made me tired for a long time. I acted as I have in collecting the money because I thought it was a regular thing, and I thought it might help me to be friendly with the inspector. All of the details have been given to the grand jury, and there will be a lot of witnesses to prove that I never kept the money, but passed it one to the inspector.
"What he did with the money I have no idea, and do not care. I know that he began getting it almost from the first week he came to the west side from the Twenty-second district. I suppose the same thing is going on all over the city. I am glad that I have told my share of the game and am through with such business forever.
"I wish I was free to tell just where the money was paid and tell how it will be shown to have been paid, but those matters are now in the hands of the state’s attorney. I simply announced that I stand by what I have testified to before the grand jury and that I am the man or one of the men who paid the money to the inspector."
Louis Frank’s Confession.
Louis Frank’s confession obtained by State’s Attorney Wayman and presented before the grand jury, follows:
"My collections of protection money for Inspector McCann began almost as soon as he had taken charge of the Desplaines Street police district, just after he was made an inspector, about a year ago last March. He called me over to his office about a week or two later and said to me:
"‘Louis Frank, can you collect money for me ?’
"We were alone in his office. He had telephoned to me personally when he wanted me and I had gone to the station and we were shut up in his private room. It was in the day time.
"He says, ‘All these people out to contribute.’
"I said, ‘What do you mean by that?’
"He says, ‘They ought to give up $20 a month — that is, all those sporting people.’
"He did not say how many people there were; he didn’t know.
"I asked him what I could offer the sporting people in return for the contributions he demanded. He said they would get protection from arrest, unexpected raids and hounding by patrol men and detectives. Often a landlady takes in a girl under age or gets into trouble over harboring some woman against her will, and that might mean the penitentiary if she were prosecuted.
"I called for all the fellows I knew who were running houses and said they would have to pay $20 a month and that the inspector ordered it. I sent for ten or twelv — Sam Arnstein, 20 Peoria street; Charlie Gonker, alias ‘Monkey Face Charlie.’ 13 Halstead street; Schwartz, 40 Morgan street, Sam Cooperman, on Sangamon between Randolph and Lake streets; Louis Levine, 14 Sangamon street and 21 Halstead street; Sarah Gordon, Morris Shatz, Lake and Halsted, and several others, making a total of twenty, who finally contributed the first month.
"I sent for them and they came to my saloon at various times in the daytime, separately.
"I said: ‘You will have to pay $20 a month,’ and told them that Inspector McCann had sent for me and told me that ‘you would have to pay for protection.’ They all said, ‘All right.’
"I got about $300 on the first collection. I gave it to Detective Griffin, the one who was indicted just before the Inspector. He came to the saloon for it. I was sitting in my private office back of the bar and I had the money in my desk. Griffin came in, walked around the cigar case, entered the office, and he said to me:
"‘Have you got the money?’
"He didn’t say anything about McCann having sent him, but I knew that he was the inspector’s man and what he was there for and I gave him the roll of bills. They were all $20 bills, each bill with a slip of paper pinned on bearing the name and address of the man or the woman who was settling."
Tells of New Demand
According to the confession Griffin took the money and the inspector later informed contributions would be delivered on the 2d of each month. After the second installment had been completed, however, McCann expressed dissatisfaction, Frank claims, and called the latter to his office. The confession then proceeds with this description of what followed:
"‘Louis Frank,’ he says, ‘this won’t work. This is not enough money. Some of these places are settling for $20 are two story buildings, with a house being run on each floor. These places have got to pay $40. They can’t settle for $20.
"The inspector had a book in which he kept track of every inmate of the houses in the district and every keeper. It was in going over this that he found that some buildings sheltered more than one place.
"The more we talked the more indignant the inspector got. He got up out of his chair and pushed a handful of money toward me.
"‘Here’s their money,’ he said. ‘Give it back to them. This isn’t dealing squarely with me and they will have to deal with me squarely or not at all.’
"‘Wait,’ I says, ‘I’ll call on these people and see what they say. So I called them together and I said: "McCann won’t stand for $20; you have women upstairs and downstairs and you will have to pay $40."’
"They all said: "Well, before we will have trouble we’ll pay up.’
"I collected the money and gave it to him.
"‘Don’t give any more money to Griffin,’ he told me. ‘Bring it yourself. You collect it yourself and bring it to me direct; leave Griffin out of it. Call me up on the telephone when you have the money and I’ll bee here to meet you.’
"The months went by and I made the collections promptly on the 1st, and gave it into the Inspector’s hands on the 2d. More keepers of resorts cam in on my collections for protection until I had probably as many as thirty at times, and the monthly collections for protection ran up from the original $300 and varied from $450 to $550 per month.
Take Money to Sick Bed?
"Part of the time I was collection for him McCann was sick in bed. This was some months ago. He had struck a man in the teeth, injured his hand and blood poison set in, and he was in danger of losing his arm. He was laid up something like two months, and twice I took the collections to him at his home. He told me to bring it out to his home.
"I went out in the evening always, by street car. His wife answered the door. She asked who I was. I sad, Louis Frank, She said she would tell him and she called upstairs, ‘Papa, Louis Frank is here.’
"He called back, ‘Let him come up.’
"I went upstairs and found him in bed. His had was in a sling and a crucifix was hanging over the bed. When I went out I said to myself, ‘McCann, what a big hypocrite you are.’
"This room was upstairs in the front of the house. He and I were alone together on both occasions. All he said was, ‘How are things?" I told him everything was quiet and going on just the same, and then I handed him the roll of bills.
"I was while he was sick in bed that I got another $250 for him. Max Plummer and his wife ran a place at the northwest corner of Peoria and Randolph streets. They picked up a couple of girls from the country and coaxed them with promises to go into their house. Some one made a complaint to the police, and Griffin, who is indicted, together with his partner, Mulvihill and Officer Dwyer, grabbed the Plummers and booked them for pandering.
"Plummer cam to me to see if I could fix it so he wouldn’t be settled for the job. He was one of the monthly contributors.
"I had bailed him and the woman out, and he wanted to know if I couldn’t fix it with McCann so that the case would be dropped. I said I would try, and went with him to his automobile out to McCann’s house on Yale avenue in the evening.
Cites a Pandering Case.
"I said, ‘Inspector, here is Plummer. What are you going to do with his case ?’
"He answered, ‘It’s a bad case, Louis; the girls are not of age, are from out of the city, innocent girls from the country, and it’s going to make trouble.’
"‘Can’t we fix this up?" I asked, and he said ‘yes.’ I says, ‘how much do you want?’ He says ‘$350.’ I said ‘That is too much money. This man wants to give you $250.’
But he wanted $350, and finally he said, ‘Well, make it $300.’ I told him, ‘I can’t make it more than $250.’; that Plummer couldn’t afford it. And finally he said, ‘all right, make it $250 and we’ll fix it up.’
"‘Now, Mr. Inspector,’ I told him, ‘I’ll get this money from Plummer right away, but you can’t get that money from me until the case is disposed of. I won’t give it to you until you turn Plummer and his girl out.’
"He agreed to this and Plummer and I left. We went over Plummer’s saloon and he gave me the $250. I kept it in my safe until McCann made good and they were discharged."
"Does Plummer run a disorderly place ?"
"He has a couple of women upstairs and they work in the saloon. Annie Plummer is the woman’s name. She knew about the $250. She is divorced from Plummer now.
Money Extorted from Woman
"After her divorce the Plummer woman was running a house at 13 ˝ Peoria street. She was paying protection money and she was paying Max Friend, who owned the building, $125 a month for rent. It’s a miserable shack, but then, you know, they get high prices because of the business that is conducted in the neighborhood.
"Friend wanted to throw Mrs. Plummer out because he had an offer of higher rent from another woman. Mrs. Plummer thought she was paying enough rent, but she didn’t want to move. She came to me and asked:
"‘Can’t you go down to Inspector McCann and see if he can’t fix it?’
"I went to the inspector and says, ‘This woman is paying $125 a month for that shack there and now Max Friend over here and tell him you will not let anybody else in the house ?"
"He says, ‘Do you think I am going to do this for nothing? Don’t you think this should be worth $50.
"I went to Annie Plummer and says: ‘This fellow — meaning McCann — won’t do things for nothing; he wants $50. If that will satisfy you I can take $50 to him and he will send for Max Friend and tell him that if he makes you move out of there we’ll keep the house vacant, and, won’t leg anybody else move in.’
"She agreed to this, and I took the $50 down to McCann. He sent for Friend and told him that he would not allow anybody else to have a house at that place if this woman was forced to move. Friend agreed not to raise the rent. The woman gave me $50 and I took it to the Inspector and say: ‘There is the $50.’ I gave it to him in his office.