Texas Observer Ltd. BOOKSELLERS BOOK FINDERS In association with the House of Books, Houston Buy All Your Books Through The Observer PROMPT DELIVERY Regular Retail Prices No Mail Charges GOODBYE TO A RIVER by John Graves. Need we say more than Bill Brammer’s excellent review in the Observer of December 23. A beautiful and slowly paced book. You will enjoy it. Knopf $4.50 I’LL TELL YOU A TALE by J. Frank Dobie. An anthology some of Mr. Dobie’s own favorites. Several are guaranteed to make your hair stand on end. Folklore told in his usual admirable style. Little Brown $6.50 Send your order for ANY book to DEPT. B, Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. .Jefferson Probe AUSTIN Rep. Tom James of Dallas, vicechairman of the House investigation committee which recently measured Beaumont’s stock of crime, told the Observer this week that the State Liquor Control Board needs either a new administrator or a change in the laws under which the board operates. The House committee heard massive testimony last week relating to payoffs to officials, wideopen gambling, wide-open mixed drink bars, and widespread prostitution in Jefferson County. Le Roy Mauldin Jr. is district supervisor there for the Liquor Board. Agents who’ worked under Mauldin testified that he ordered them to go easy in their work. Asked if Mauldin were still with the Liquor Board, James said: “I don’t know. The last liquor agent I recommended be fired wound up being promoted.” James Stanford, assistant to Coke Stevenson Jr., Liquor Board director, told the Observer: “So far as I know he is still working for us, and I think I would know if he had been fired, although the power to hire and fire rests solely with Mr. Stevenson.” Stevenson could not be reached for comment. Rep. James said: “Sweeping reforms need to be instituted in the liquor board. The autonomy of the supervisor within each district must be broken down. Testimony before the committee revealed that not a single undercover man was sent into Jefferson County in two years. Officials of the liquor control board testified that undercover men were sent in only at the district supervisor’s request. It’s just a policy of the board. “The best way to change policy is to change the administrator or change the laws under which the board operates. BEAUMONT An Observer check of area newsmen who are keeping closest touch with the crime problem in Jefferson County indicated at week’s end that as a result of the HoUse investigating committee’s intensive probe, these were the immediate developments: Bawdy houses in both Beaumont and Port Arthur are at least temporarily closed. Very little bookmaking is going on except for the convenience of well-known customers. The basketball pool cards have disappeared. Of the six or seven private clubs in Beaumont, all but two or three have closed, and of these, two have been issued private club operating licenses by the state Liquor Control Board and seem to be going by regulations. How is the public reacting to the crime revelations? One of Beaumont’s top reporters told the Observer: “A good number of people seem to be earnestly demanding that the underworld operators be closed down and kept closed down, although I would say there is more critical interest being shown in Port Arthur than Beaumont. The Port Arthur city commission meeting Wednesday was jammed with people demanding resignations from various city officials. The city commission meeting in Beaumont Tuesday was attended by a small and meek delegation from the WCTU, and nobody else to speak of. “But that may just reflect the outcome of the investigation, THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 Jan. 14, 1961 “The grand jury that reported in October said the sale of alcoholic beverages to juveniles was a problem in Jefferson County. In spite of this report, Mr. Stevenson did not send an undercover man into Jefferson County until I asked for one in December. “An inspector testified he had advised Le Roy Mauldin that the Balanese was operating after hours and was selling mixed drinks to teenagers in blue jeans. Mauldin rebuked the inspector,” James said. “Mr. Stevenson should have methods of reaching his field men when they meet resistance from their own district supervisors. “In my opinion the breakdown in the enforcement of our liquor laws has not been adequately explained by members of our liquor control board.” Rep. Menton Murray, chairman of the investigating committee, told the Observer he also was surprised at the way the liquor board usedor failed to useundercover men. “Every new investigator could have been an undercover man until he became known at the bars,” Murray said. “But the policy of the liquor board down there was literally to put notices in the paper of the arrival of a new inspector.” Murray said the committee needed “more power as to swearing witnesses” and that “we’ll ask the legislature to correct and clarify the power of the investigating committee.” James went further, saying he will ask the legislature to set up permanent investigating committees, instead of continuing the present custom of creating a committee for only two years, and to pass a law providing perjury penalties for giving false testimony to a legislative committee. which gave Port Arthur more of a black eye than it did Beaumont. Port Arthur was shown to have twice as many whore houses as more gambling, and so on.” Law-enforcement officers in this area, some of whom are now exlaw-enforcement officers, revealed mysterious sources of wealth to the House committee. Among the benefactees are sheriff Charles H. Meyer, recipient of an admitted $85,000 in “campaign contributions” during the past five years, in four of which he had no campaign expenses; Port Arthur Police Chief Garland B. Douglas, recipient of $65,000 in campaign contributions from 1955 to 1959. Douglas’ job is appointive.’ Both said they had no idea whom the money came from. Beaumont Police Chief Jim Mulligan said there was nothing mysterious about the $50,000 in liquid assets in his name. Some of it, ,he said, came from_ a “rich sister” and the rest came from “business transactions.” Port Arthur Assistant Police Chief D. C. Moore told the committee he did his best to keep the prostitution industry under control. “I checked regularly to see there were no undesirable prostitutes working,” he said. Deputy Sheriff Robert P. Nees admitted a $15,000 shortage in county funds. Investigators estimated the prostitution, gambling, bookmaking, and booze rackets in this area brought in $10 million a year and they expressed wonder that city and county officials couldn’t see what was going on until the HouSe brought it to their attention. Stand-Ins Get More Support AUSTIN. Thirty members of the economics faculty and five teachers from the school of social work joined the 192 other University of Texas teachers who have endorsed the “stand-ins” against the exclusion of Negroes from two theaters near the campus here. The economics statement said exclusion of anyone from a public place “for reasons beyond his control” is contrary to principles of democracy. The social workers condemned “arbitrary barriers that isolate groups of individuals from each other.” Their statements, printed in the student newspaper, brought to 227 the faculty endorsements. Feb. 12 continued to be a target date of the demonstrators for a “Lincoln’s Birthday” demonstration against the theaters. Reports received by the executive board of “Students for Direct Action” indicated this will be co-ordnated with other U.S. student demonstrations in February. After a few large demonstrations, the students settled down to two pickets per theater for the end-of-semester examinations period. One of the signs said, “Your money spent here supports segregation.” The theaters continued to refuse to admit Negroes. There was one incident. A 21 year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were arrested by police after picketers had complained that the two had assaulted them. Police said that about eight persons gave statements that the pair “spit on them, pushed them, shoved them into the gutter, and threw football blocks” into them. The younger assailant was :transferred to the county juvenile home. Police said he had been involved in a series of 1959 incidents in which about $4,000 damage was done in East Austin, the Negro residential area. The man was charged with two counts of assault in corporation court and, the day after the incident, fined $5 and $16 costs an each, a total of $42. * * SMU Students Stage Sit-Ins DALLAS A group of 60 SMU students, including two Negro theology students, conducted a sit-in and picket demonstration at a drug store across the street from the campus this week. When they refused to leave the lunch counter, owner C. R. Bright summoned a fumigation service and had the store sprayed with insecticide. Most of the demonstrators remained during the spraying, using handkerchiefs to cover their faces. After an hour, police advised closing the store. When Bright closed down business, the sit-inners left. They returned later and picketed the store until late in the afternoon.’ “BOW” WILLIAMS When Your Home Policy Expires, Check With Us About Special Savings On Our Homeowners’ Policy GReenwood 2-0545 624 NORTH LAMAR, AUSTIN Let’s Abolish the Poll Tax! Subscribers Please show our advertisers in your city you appreciate their appearance in the OBSERVER by communicating with them. For Union Activities AUSTIN Two San Antonio teachers lost an attempt Jan. 9 to prove to the state board of education that they were discriminated againt because of their activities in a teachers’ union. Their attorney planned to take their case to court. The two, Emilio Garza and Miss Hattie Russell, are no longer with the Edgewood Independent School district, a suburb of San Antonio. But they wanted the board of education to make a written finding clarifying the changes in their teaching assignments at Edgewood. The board refused to do so, and voted only to uphold education commissioner Dr. J. W. Edgar’s ruling that Edgewood officials acted within their rights. Garza was teaching a history class during the 1959-60 school year at Edgewood high school. When a group of teachers organized Dec. 11, 1960, into a labor union, affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFLCIO, Garza was elected president. A month later, Jan. 22, Garza was transferred from his history class to a remedial class in the district’s Escobar junior high school. The remedial class was comprised of slow learners, and had just been created. Garza finished out the contract term but was not re-employed for the 1960-61 year. Garza says the board didn’t re-hire him because of his union activities. Miss Russell taught English in the 1959-60 term and got a job in night school to earn $150 extra a term. When the teachers organized Dec. 11, Miss Russell was elected secretary. A month later, about mid-January, the administration told Miss Russell she would not be needed for night school in the second semester and that another teacher had been hired. Miss Russell said the board broke its two-semester contract with her because of her union activities. Garza and Superintendent of Schools Bennie S teinhauser clashed Jan. 18 in a television program aired to discuss the controversy. It was four days later that Garza was reassigned to the remedial class. Commissioner Edgar upheld the board’s assignment changes of both teachers, in a Dec. 13, 1960, decision. The teachers’ attorney, Sam Houston Clinton Jr., told the board of education Jan. 9 that there is a legal conflict in the case: on the one hand, a law which prevents a board from dismissing a teacher because of membership in a labor union, and on the other hand, the absence of any law requiring the school board to state its reasons for not employing or re-employing a teacher. “The main error in the commissioner’s finding,” Clinton said, Subscribe to The Texas Observer Name Address City, State Send $5 to The Texas Observer, 504 W. 24, Austin, Texas. “was the statement that it was not shown Miss Russell had a binding contract with the board for the night school job.” He said she was assured orally by Steinhauser that she would have a twosemester job. “Miss Russell was told in the middle of one of her classes that she was not going to teach the second semester,” Clinton said, “and a special assistant to the superintendent who had been sent to the union meetingI won’t say he was a spywas given one of the vacated assignments and his wife the other.” Clinton said Miss Russell was entitled to at least $150 damages because of loss of night school pay and Garza was entitled to written notice of the ’causes of his reassignment. Board member Ben Howell of El Paso asked Clinton, “Where is couldn’t be reassigned without written. reasons? You want us to read into that law a limitation an the local board or superintendent that they can’t reassign or transfer a person by virtue of activities in a union.” State Board member James W. Harvey, Archer City, offered a motion to uphold Edgar. The board’s newest member, C. Ray Holbrook of Texas City, offered a substitute motion to give Miss Russell $150 but to uphold Edgar on other counts. The board voted down Holbrook’s motion, Holbrook and Paul Greenwood of Harlingen dissenting, and passed the Harvey motion. Clinton said he would take the appeal to a district court, either in San Antonio or Austin. MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 James Hits LCB
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