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‘In the Texas Senate, Almost Everybody Reads The Texas Observer’ The other day in the Texas Senate, during one of the world-record filibusters, a senator approached the press table, laughing hard. He said to the reporter there from The Texas Observer: “Look up there, man, you oughta have a camera.” On the lieutenant governor’s platform, two senators and a reading clerk were clustered around the lieutenant governor, who gripped in his hands the latest issue of The Texas Observer. They were all reading it of course. Lacking a camera, we had our genius with the charcoal, Don Bartlett, recreate a likely scene on the Senate floor. Any morning of our day of publication, you can walk up and down the aisles of the Texas Senate and the Texas House and find that the pressing business of the State is suspended while those alert fellows peruse our little journal. Our Address : Drawer F, A dastardly thing did happen during the ‘Wagonseller filibuster, however. One of the senators “spelling” Wagonseller spaced out a long question by reading from the inside pages of a certain competitor of ours who has a propensity for publishing the captions of all the bills introduced each week. We were inconsolable until we recalled that the purpose of the question was to be as meaningless and tiresome as possible. For the interest of our lawmakers in our humble product, we are grateful. But to tell you the truth, as we always try to dowe need subscriptions, and plenty of them. If you have some friends whose fund of information about their state is low, why not send them a three-month trial subscription for $1 ? And for yourself of closer friends, a year’s subscription to The Texas Observer makes a fine birthday gift. Thanks. Capitol Station, Austin ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION Name Street Address City & State GIFT SUBSCRIPTION’ Name City & State Street Address The Texas Observer, one year $4.00 \(We will be glad to send sample issues of The Texas Observer to friends of our readers at no charge. Send us the name and address and, if you wish, the issue or issues you prefer to have The Texas Observer, three months $1 to notify the recipient that you are the sender. Attach an extra sheet for other gift subscriptions. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 5 April 11, 1955 FOR ‘DERELICTION OF DUTY’ Woes Pile Up On Giles, Bell Jury Criticizes Isle Officials Controversy Still Rages; Election Due Saturday IRVING Controversy still rages in Irving’s 6,000-student school system. Differences between the pro and anti-Beard factions may never be resolved completely, but citizens will call a halt to election hostilities this Saturday when they vote on whether to create a new independent school district and elect trustees. Voters could turn back in the same group they ousted on March 26, or they could elect trustees sympathetic with Dr. John L. Beard, whose firing Feb. 16 touched off a dispute which still rages. The vote was close in the March 26 election. By 316 ballots, citizens decided to abolish their strife-torn district. But this didn’t settle the argument. The two factions have already filed two seven-member opposing slates, to fill the trustee posts, should the district be re-created. A three-member interim school boardappointed by Dallas County school officialshas been running the setup, and the anti-Beard group has been protesting actions of the temporary trustees. The Dallas County School Board created a common school district at Irving two weeks ago after residents voted to abolish their independent district. It appointed as interim trustees Russell Horn, John Andrews and Clifford J. Moore. Horn and Andrews are of the pro-Beard group, and Moore sides with backers of the old board which fired Beard and later dismissed 200 Irving teachers who protested Beard’s discharge by walking off their jobs. All three members are candidates for trustee posts in the election this Saturday. Last week the interim board, by a two to one vote, rehired R. H. Copeland and Ira L. Lasseter, two of the nine striking principals involved in the Beard dispute. They also returned Acting Superintendent Charles Langston to his old job as curriculum co-ordinator. This touched off another bitter round of charges. Backers of the ousted board launched an attack from two sides. About 90 irate mothers marched on County School Superintendent L. A. Roberts and County School Board President C. A. Nichols to protest the reappointments. While the women protested, a group of men went to court for an injunction suit asking Judge Charles E. Long Jr. to issue an immediate restraining order blocking any more of the interim board’s actionsspecifically creating and filling unneeded vacancies. Judge Long ruled at a hearing later in the week that the courts cannot restrain such action, that the issue is up to the people. They can decide, he said, at the polls this Saturday. Little of Crystal City totaling $377,344.70 on four Zavala County land deals. Giles was previously charged with felony theft of $688,344 in. complaints which also named B. R. Sheffield and L. V. Ruffin of Brady. Slocum said he paid Bell $12,600 “in the early part of February, 1954,” and $3,650 about March 1, 1954, on two deals involving 23 veterans and 2,000 acres each. Both were in Dimmit County. The checks to Bell were made payable to T. J. McLarty, Cuero land dealer now the object of 21 criminal indictments as a result of the land investigations. Bell told House and Senate investigating committees late last month that he received $3,650 from Slocum on a Loamey Ranch deal in Dimmit County in March, 1954. But no sum of $12,600 from Slocum was mentioned in Bell’s testimony, according to reporters’ notes. He testified he received $6,258.35 from Slocum on an Oak Grove Ranch deal in Dimmit County in March, 1954, and $500 on a Ramirez Ranch deal in Edwards County in February, 1954, again from Slocum. Slocum said last week he netted around $33,000 on the two Dimmit deals. Of Bell he said: “He was to receive half the net to me. I figured Bell was probably the best man to handle it for me. I couldn’t expect him to work for nothing. It was my proposition to him.” Bell told House and Senate investigators March 24 that he had received $27,000 in ten group deals for what he described as legal services. Bell said he could not recall the reason he asked Slocum to make out the $6,258.35 check to McLarty. McLarty in return wrote a check for the same sum to him, Bell. Slocum made the $3,650 check out to McLarty because Bell wanted to loan that money to McLarty, Bell said. However, Bell said all his testimony was only to the best of his knowledge and memory. The four n e w felony theft counts against Giles are for $50,250 on August 21, 1953; $164,786 on Aug. 3, 1954; $81,348.70 on Oct. 11, 1954; and $80.960 on Oct. 11, 1954. The penalty for felony theft is two to ten years. The charges are the first criminal actions brought against Little. Giles won a continuation of his trial on a charge of taking a $30,000 bribe in connection with a Bexar County Land deal. Originally set for April 11, the trial was reset for May 23 on the plea of Clint Small, Sr., Giles’s attorney, that Giles had been sued and indicted so much lately, Small had not been able to prepare a defense. Meanwhile, the Veterans’ Land Board voted to accept $85,068.15 restitution money from the Byrd Cattle Co. of Dallas in return for land the company sold the state under the land program. This brings the total paid to the clerk of 53rd District Court by defendants , in civil land suits to $293,000. The prospect that principals in group land deals under investigation might make restitution and escape full prosecution under the Texas law prompted Procter to bring a group o f indictments against Giles, Sheffield, and Ruffin two weeks ago. Procter asserted that this factor was not at work in last week’s indictments against Giles and Little. GALVESTON’ Galveston grand jurors criticized the entire city administration for “dereliction of duty” in a $16,000 water department shortage here but they were unable to pinpoint responsibility or come up with any indictments concerning the shortage. They did indict City Water Department Office Manager G. C. Rickert on charges of misapplication of funds and secreting funds. The indictment alleges that Rickert misapplied a ,check for over $400 and secreted a check for more than $300. It was reported that these charges stemmed from operations in Rickert’s own office and had no connection with the other water department shortages. The jury’s scalding, ten page report charged that “by application of proper precaution within their sphere of vested authority … the mayor and board of commissioners could have prevented the loss of funds in the water department … The grand jury charges that there was some degree of dereliction of duty.” The juiy reported it was “virtually impossible to pinpoint the $16,082 shortage of funds … because of the loose manner in which cash was handled on the first floor of the waterworks department.” At least eight persons had access to the cash, the report said, and there is strong suspicion that an even greater shortage would have been discovered had an audit covered the years 1952 and 1953, instead of only from Jan. 1 to Sept. 14, 1954, the report reads. After calling more than 30 wit nesses, including Mayor Herbert Cartwright Jr., Waterworks Commissioner Marshall McNeel and all other city commission members the jurors said they were “appalled to learn that in excess of $20,000 a year of city funds were -handled … and yet no books or permanent records were kept of all transactions.” Farm Cash Income Up AUSTIN Cash income of Texas farmers totalled slightly more than $248 million in January and February, the University of Texas Bureau of Business Research reports. This is a gain of about one per cent over the total registered for the same period a year ago. An $8 million overall rise in revenue from cattle accounted primarily for the increase, the bureau said. Irving Mothers Register Protest AUSTIN Bascom Giles and John J. Bell are becoming more deeply involved in the veterans’ land scandals as each week passes. San Antonio land dealer Ralph Slocum told the Senate investigating conimittee last week that he paid Congressman Bell $16,250 for expediting two Dimmit County deals under an agreement that Bell would get half the profits. Slocum’s figures either did not gibe with the ones Bell had given earlier or one of the payments was in connection with some other land deal. Giles, former Land Commissioner, now f aces felony theft charges totaling $1,065,688.70. Distroict Attorney Les Procter of Travis County brought four new complaints against Giles and J. Paul