Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Scandal of 1922: Part III

The trial of Hudson police chief John Cruise, for dereliction of duty, began on May 5, 1922. The raid by state police two months earlier had caused quite a sensation in Hudson, and so did the trial. On May 9, 1922, the Columbia Republican described the scene at City Hall (now the Hudson Opera House) on the first day of the trial, which began on a Friday afternoon.
It was nearly 12:30 Saturday morning when an adjournment was taken in the trial of Chief Cruise, now under suspension, pending the determination of charges preferred against him.
All evening the City Hall was belieged [sic] by a large crowd seeking admission to the Council Chambers wherein the trial is being held. Every available inch of space was in use and the room was literally packed to the doors. When the room was filled to capacity the doors were locked and no more were allowed to enter.
Crowds of interested citizens pressed around the windows on the City Hall Place side, eager to catch bits of the testimony being offered.

The afternoon session was taken up with "the receipt and disposition of formal motions by counsel," but in the evening session things got interesting. That's when testimony was heard from the two operatives who had been hired by the Commission of Public Safety to investigate "the situation" in Hudson regarding "the sale of intoxicants and prostitution." The first witness was a man named Frank P. Kennison, and his testimony includes reference to a number of familiar places and addresses around town. 
Frank P. Kennison, one of the detectives who investigated conditions in Hudson, testified, that he visited the premises at 330 Warren St. and purchased 3 drinks of whisky for which he paid $1.50. He also saw other drinks served. There were of an amber color with a white foam on top.
He again visited the premises at 330 Warren St. that evening and asked for home brew which was served to them. He and Inspector Cunningham were the only persons who were drinking tho there were others in the room. When he was there he could see Police Headquarters very plainly.
He, in company with other detectives visited the premises of 22 Ferry St. They asked for a drink of whisky and it was served to them.
While in the premises a man by the name of Miller came in, who was later said to be Matthew Miller. There was some objection to the whiskey and another bottle was obtained by Miller and drinks were served from it. They were poured out behind the bar and then placed on the bar. The other man drank what appeared to be the same liquid from the same kind of glass.
The examination of the witness then went back to the place at 330 Warren St. where he stated that there was no trouble of access and that when he was in there he could see a man in Police Headquarters.
He had also visited the premises at 26 Ferry street in company with others and was introduced to a man named Dugan Riley. Whiskey was served to the detective and home brew to the others according to the evidence of Kennison. For these drinks he paid 50 cents for the whiskey and 10c for the home brew.
On February 2nd (the same date as above) he in company with others including a Hudson man named Walsh, walked down Diamond street and the premises at 323 Diamond street were pointed out to him. He observed a woman leaving [sic] out of the window. . . .
The witness was next asked if her had ever visited the premises at 48 South Front St. He had visited these premises on several occasions on February 2nd. The first time he visited the place there was no one there but when he visited it again the bar was so crowded that the party had to go into the side room to be served. Mr. Kennison described the manner of entrance to the place and the location of the rooms therein.
For the third time on the same day he visited these premises and purchased whiskey and home brew. He paid 50c for the whiskey but did not remember the price of the home brew.
In answer to a question as to whether the girl with whom he was drinking was under the influence of liquor, the witness stated she was.
He had visited these premises on another date and had purchased drinks and saw others in the place drinking.
That's the end of the account of Kennison's testimony. He was then cross examined by Robert M. Herzberg, one of the "formidable line-up of counsel" representing Chief Cruise. That cross examination will have to wait for another day.

1 comment:

  1. By my count, Mr. Kennison had 7 drinks of whiskey and beer by the end of his work-day (investigating all of Hudson's speakeasies.) I wonder if he volunteered for that duty?