What had Roberts’ informant chosen him? Perhaps because, during the hearings, Roberts had been openly critical of Dungan, and Dungan, in reciprocation, did not defend Roberts when a witness questioned Roberts’ patriotism. In any case, the information was laid upon Roberts, and he had to decide what to do with it, if anything. He had a third party write to Dungan for the report, enclosing a $2 check made out to Dungan per sonally. In due time the report came back, the one that Dungan had had printed at state expense in the House printing shop. Then, after a while, the third party’s check to Dungan came back, cleared through a bank and endorsed on the back, “W. T. Dungan.” Roberts is a small-town school teacher who takes his own life and work extremely seriously. Political controversy tends to alarm him, but it ‘ has been thrust upon him ever since he was appointed to the .textbook committee, and he has stuck with it. When he became privy to the information about Dungan and the state’s reports, he was distressed about what to do and took some reporters into his confidence. After a few days, enough people were pressing him about the matter that he told reporters about it on the record. This led to a well publicized exchange between Dungan and Roberts on the House floor, Roberts accusing Dungan of selling state reports for $2 that he kept personally, and Dungan defending what he. had done and counterattacking Roberts. Roberts told his colleagues: You may ask,, then just exactly why I am bringing this issue to your attention, and certainly this is a fair question. I am speaking to you this morning because I can no longer conceal information about an existing state of affairs which has gone far beyond the bounds of dignity and responsibility. . . . To remain 1101.0TION!! Tex a s O b serv e r silent any longer would mean that I , too, would be violating the duties and responsibilities of my office. Roberts also told the House he had taken the matter up with the department of public safety and the speaker of the House. Clearly, Speaker Tunnell’s team in the House had to do something, and the five-member committee, generally thought to include three of Tunnell’s men, was established. It is known that Tunnell wants the committee’s 30-day inquiry to squash the affair. Just how the committee will respond remains to be seen. Reporters were not invited to the committee’s first meeting, and it appears that the investigation will be conducted in secret. DUNGAN, obviously a concerned man, told the Observer that he had accepted $2 for about 225 of the reports, about $450 in all. He admits the reports for which he received this money were the same reports he had printed at state expense. He contends, in his defense, that the Dallas hearing cost him, personally, $960 in all, and that he was just trying to recoup some of his expenses. His defense really turns on a distinction he makes between selling the state books at $2 and accepting contributions to’ defray his expenses in exchange for the state books at a rate of $2 per book. He says he did not sell the books but did accept $2 contributions from those asking for copies. “I never heard of the paper in my life,” he says of the Independent American. He imagines the paper got the notice about the hearings “from talking to some of the people who contacted me.” He reasons that the House had voted state money for the text bok investigations, but that then his own committee cut it off. “I chose to carry on at my own expense.” Yet he had accepted $2 for state reports? “I couldn’t get any money out of ’em until I got ’em published,” he answers. He stresses that he has given away many of the reports, and even having received $2 for about 225 of them, is “still in the hole on expenses.” ROBERTS told the House that Dungan’s expenses at Dallas had “absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether thesce reports were printed ‘at state expense and then placed on sale at $2 each.” Someone accepting contributions, Roberts argued, would not permit a notice to he placed saying the books were for sale, and “would not accept money without telling a man to what he was contributing. . . . My friend was only buying a book, a book later determined to have been printed at state expense.” All the evidence, Roberts said, points to the conclusion that Dungan was selling the state books at $2 a copy. “If these copies were not being sold,” he asked, “why was money being accepted as payment for thern?” Dungan told the House that “the charge is stealing” and that he was “beginning to see red.” Indeed, he proposed that his colleagues on the committee be investigated to find out why they stayed away from the Dallas hearing. Alluding to “who was behind their actions,” Dungan said, “If they could be induced to talk, it would be very interesting information.” Dungan turned on Roberts, his accuser, with a political lash. He said he had made, in his textbook work, “some deadly enemies who would do anything to discredit me, as they are afraid of being exposed for what they are and what they are trying to do.” Saying Roberts had declared that the witnesses appearing before the textbook committee were far more dangerous than communists, Dungan asked, “Now how could he make such a comparison unless he has first hand knowledge of communists?” Leaving that question hanging in the air, Dungan went on to say, “I have only sympathy and pity for him. . . . He is . . . so far out to the left that he doesn’t even know what direction right is.” Dungan said that if he figured his time in the Dallas hearing “at anything at all,” the $960 figure on his expenses “should be doubled.” \(He is paid $4,800 a year as a state -repre”I lost a crop and plenty of business while working on this matter,” he said. In a moment of hesitation, he told the House, “Perhaps I was wrong, as I often am . . . and if I have caused any embarassment to any member .. . I apologize and I accept full responsibility for the whole affair.” But then he turned it to a joke: I was just trying to sort of break even on this deal after I got ditched by the committee. . . . With all the publicity I’m receiving, the demand for the report is probably going to be more than I can fill. I may even come out on the Dallas hearing yet. I turned down an offer to publish 10,000 copies as commercializing too much, but I may reconsider. Why, it might even become a best seller. R.D. 10 The
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.