Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Scandal of 1922: The Conclusion

When the decision of the Commission of Public Safety was announced in July 1922, finding Chief John Cruise guilty of dereliction of duty and demoting him to the the position of sergeant, Cruise appealed the decision to the New York Supreme Court. It was predicted at the time that getting a judgment from the Appellate Division would take six months. In fact, it took a bit longer. On March 7, 1923, the Appellate Division handed down its decision, and it was reported in the Columbia Republican on March 13, 1923.
The action of the Public Safety Commission in removing John Cruise, Jr., from the office of Chief of Police of Hudson, was unanimously affirmed in a decision handed down by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court at Albany, Wednesday afternoon. The opinion, written by Justice Van Kirk and concurred in by the acting presiding justice Henry T. Kellogg and Associates Justices Kiler, Hinman and Hasbrouck, expressed the unanimous opinion of the court and has the effect of preventing any further appeal to the Court of Appeals except by permission of the court. 
The decision is a sweeping victory for the Public Safety Commission and for former Corporation Counsel William J. Delamater, who argued the case before the court, and for Samuel B. Coffin, who was associated with Mr. Delamater on the trial of the case before the commission. 
The case is one of great interest to the citizens of Hudson and elicited considerable interest in police circles thruout the entire State. About a year ago, after a series of investigations by a private detective agency, a squadron of federal agents swooped down upon the city and made a number of sensational raids. As a result of these raids the resignation of Chief Cruise was asked for by the Commission of Public Safety. The Chief refused to acceed [sic] to the request and he was removed from office by the Commission pending the hearing and determination of the charges which were preferred against him. City Judge John J. Moy and R. Monell Herzberg were retained to defend the Chief and then followed a lengthy trial before the Public Safety Commission, the record of which covers over 600 pages. During the progress of the trial public interest ran high and great crowds surged around the Common Council chamber in which the hearings were held.
So voluminous was the record that considerable time was required to transcribe the stenographer's minutes, after which the Commission spent considerable time in examining the testimony and arriving at their decision. During the autumn [actually, it was July] the Commission reached a determination of the case and filed their findings, which removed Chief Cruise from office and demoted him to the position of sergeant.
His attorneys then procured a certiorari order from Judge Howard to review the determination and the matter then went to the Appellate Division for its decision. The case came on for argument before the court at its January term and was argued by Mr Delamater for the Commission and by Mr Herzberg for the Chief, and Wednesday's decision was based on a review of the entire case.
Chief Cruise refused to abide by the decision of the Commission demoting him to Sergeant and failed to report for duty pending the appeal of his case to the Appellate Division and has ever since failed to perform police duties as directed by the Commission. Whether or not he will report for duty now has not been ascertained. Some weeks ago the sale of his property on Glenwood boulevard was reported and it is said that he is now in New York, where he has been for some time past. . . . 
[Cruise] had been upon the police force in the city of Hudson continuously since 1889. A part of this time he served as sergeant and on December, 1917, he was appointed chief of police, in which office he was serving at the time the charges herein were presented against him.
According to the U.S. census for 1920, Cruise's "property on Glenwood boulevard" was this house at 90 Glenwood Blvd.

Cruise lived in this house with his wife, a brother-in-law, an adult daughter and her husband, and an adult son and his wife and their two children, one of whom was, in 1920, almost 3 and the other 8 months. There was a mortgage on the house. 

In 1920, when the census was taken, Cruise was 64 years old. When the judgment of the Commission of Public Safety demoted from his position of chief of police, he would have been 66.

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