Albany: August 5, 1932.
1 p. 4to. Roosevelt summons Jimmy Walker to answer corruption charges. Single sheet of State of New York, Executive Chamber letterhead with gold seal at head. Paste action from old mat at upper and lower margins, old folds, signature slightly smudged Item #313757
Less than a month after he'd accepted the Democratic nomination for President and on the verge of setting out on the campaign trail, then Governor Roosevelt summons New York City mayor Jimmy "Beau James" Walker, to answer corruption charges.
"I confirm my telegram to you today, reading as follows: 'I request that you appear before me ... in Albany on Thursday August eleventh ... in order that you may be heard in respect to the charges filed with me by Honorable Samuel Seabury ... and others and your answer thereto. I expect that in accordance with my telegram to you yesterday your rejoinder to Judge Seabury's reply will be in my hands next Monday....'" Roosevelt's telegram is also present.
The Seabury Commission brought to light one of the most notorious corruption schemes in New York City's history, whereby innocent citizens (usually working class women) were arrested on false charges of prostitution and to avoid jail were made to pay fines which lined the pockets of magistrate court judges, attorneys, and police officers. In the course of the investigation it also uncovered large sums of money paid to Mayor Walker by businessmen seeking city contracts. Roosevelt's summons to Walker came as the negative publicity generated by the scandal threatened to cause problems for him during the campaign. Walker spared Roosevelt the trouble of removing him from office by resigning on September 1.
"The insouciant Walker was master of ceremonies for New York in the Jazz Age. Rarely rising before ten in the morning, he could be found at Broadway openings, ringsides, parades, or casinos—almost any place but city hall. He took seven vacations during his first two years in office. A notorious womanizer, he also began a widely publicized affair with Betty Compton, an actress, twenty-three years his junior. Local newspapers fueled his popularity by celebrating his exploits while ignoring his indiscretions" (ANB).
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