gen recounted. “No, I don’t recall anything like that,” Stubbs said. “That must be mistaken identity.” Dodgen also said: “The case came up for trial, and it was dismissed on the grounds that it was illegal to search an automobile without a search warrant. That was poor, but anyway, we couldn’t carry it any further after that. “Moursund called me one day on the telephone, before this case, was tried, and wanted me to have the warden dismiss the case,” Dodgen said of the present commissioner of the Parks and Wildlife Commission. “I told him I couldn’t do it. Those boys were doing their job.” Dodgen said he told County Judge Moursund that “The best thing for you to do is to plead guilty and pay your fine.” He recalled that he told Moursund that if some of the boys asked him about it, what he ought to do is just laugh and say yes, he’d made a mistake, and “be a good sport,” and it would pass over. “I advised A. W., ‘You’re wrong about it. You shoulda let him examine your bag. You tell me there wasn’t anything wrong with it. Then you shoulda let them see it.” “I said, ‘There’s a rumor that Lyndon was with you,’ ” Dodgen recalled. He said Moursund replied, ” ‘Well, that doesn’t have anything to do with it. The case was filed against me.’ ” Dodgen said he told Moursund he agreed with that, but was just wondering. “He didn’t tell me,” Dodgen said. Dodgen said that Moursund was the only person involved’ in the game officials’ case report, and that Johnson was not identified in that report. J. W. Elliott of Mexia, the Texaco wholesaler for his area, was a member of the commission at the time of this incident. He told the Observer: “I know about what happened, in general. Howard and I discussed that thing, and I know what it was. It was a matter of a warden doing his sworn duty, and regardless of who it was. That’s where this shakeup started in the game commission. When LBJ threatened to take the federal aid from the game departmenthe told Mr. Dodgen, he’d threatened to take away the aid if he didn’t fire the boy [Gilbreath] or take some action on it. He told Howard that, and Howard told me.” Dodgen said, “No, he’s wrong about that. I didn’t ever talk with Johnson about that.” He thought Elliott might have got him, Dodgen, confused on this point with Herbert Frensley, who was chairman of the commission at the time. Frensley was president of Brown & Root, the construction firm. Dodgen said if anyone on the commission talked to Johnson on the matter, it would have been Frensley. Moursund was not responsive to Observer calls to Johnson City to get his side of the story. I’VE KNOWN JOHN for 25 years or more,” Dodgen said of the governor. He’d never had any business with him; it had always been a social acquaintance, and Connally had seemed like an all right guy to him. Then the merger came along. “I talked to him about it. He was very open about it, his position was that the consolidation would save money. Then all of a sudden I couldn’t get in his office, and I haven’t talked to him yet!” In their first conversation about the merger of the old game and fish commission and the old parks board, Dodgen said, “I told him the objections that were to be found in it. The game and fish work was all the work that a free-service commission was entitled to have to do. It’s quite a burden if people do a good job. That’s about as much as one board can say grace over for no pay.” Adding responsibility for parks would increase the days per month the unpaid commissioners would have to meet in Austin from two or three to four or five, he argued. Dodgen conceded that there was another side to it : the fact that complementary functions could be consolidated, specifically accounting and engineering. An engineer, for instance, doesn’t care whether he’s planning a park or a pond. “All the arguments are not on one side or the other,” Dodgen said. “But if you’re going to do a specialized job, you’ve got to stick with a specialized agency. I didn’t argue with him about it. We just discussed it. “I said, ‘John, well, you know if you abolish my commission, you abolish me, and I don’t like that,’ ” Dodgen recalled. “He laughed and said, ‘Well, don’t you worry about that. I’ll recommend to the new commission that you run it.’ And those were his exact words.” This happened, Dodgen said, in January, 1963, before Connally was inaugurated. Dodgen also recalled that Connally told the Sportsmens’ Clubs of Texas annual meeting about that time that the merger Enter the New And a $100 IN ANY CASE, he never got to see Connally; and the morning of Aug. 23, he recalled, he heard around the office that there was going to be a swearing-in ceremony at the governor’s office for the ‘three new commissioners of the agency that day superceding the one of which he was the executive director. He had started with the Game and Fish Commission as chief’ book-keeper in 1932, when he was 28 years old. He had been with an auditing firm in Austin. After some years he became the commission’s chief clerk. In 1945, he became the executive director. On the morning of Aug. 23, 1963, the commission had about 600 employees. There had not been any scandal to amount to anything under Dodgen dur was not aimed at his friend, Dodgen. Shortly after Connally had moved from a downtown hotel into the Governor’s Mansion, Dodgen said, the two men had another chat on the situation one morning in the Driskill Hotel coffee shop. “It was all very friendly. After a little while he got up and left. That was the last time that I’ve ever talked to him about anything,” Dodgen said last week in his handsome home in West Austin. About a month or so later, Dodgen said, he called over to the governor’s office ,to discuss accumulated matters, as was his custom, but the secretary put him off and said she’d call him back. She did not. He called back, and the brush-off was repeated. “It just went on and on like that,” Dodgen said. “It’s just unbelievable! I had worked with Coke Stevenson, Beauford Jester, Allan Shivers, Price Danieland hell, to me, they’re just the same. I never had to wait five minutes to see the governor. This one I couldn’t get into his waiting room, hardly. I have never seen him to this day, just because he didn’t have the guts to face me. “The reason is just because Lyndon got hold of him and told him, on the dove thing,” Dodgen said. “There’s no question about it in my mind.” Dodgen . said that he was precluded by a personal confidence from relating one episode that he said bore out Johnson’s role in his firing. He said a person in the Harris County area was assayed by an agent of Connally’s about a possible appointment on the new Parks and Wildlife Commission, but that when the agent was told the prospect would not go along with “getting rid of Dodgen,” he was dropped. Asked whether hostility toward him from an official of a sportsmen’s club might have had a role in his dismissal, Dodgen said there had been such a situation, but that it had died down. Commissioners Million Issue ing the scandal-ridden years for state government. A warden made a mis-step, and by the time the Observer asked Dodgen about it, the situation had been rectified; Dodgen related the case with openness and regret. ” ‘You going over?’ ” Dodgen said someone asked him the morning of the swearing in of the new commissioners last fall. “I had not been notified. I said, ‘Just for the hell of it, I will.’ I just went out of pure gall. “All the shell dredgers from the Houston area of the coast were there,” Dodgen recalled. He said he remembered thinking that was strange. About 4:30 that afternoon, he recalled, he was back at his office, and he got a call from Will Odom, the chairman of the new May 1, 1964 . 3
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