Charlie Schnabel . . meeting. Smith arrived to find a lively debate in progress. It seems that Schnabel and Adams suspected one Alex N. Martinez, supervisor of the Senate print shop, of stealing paper from the state. Both Schnabel and Adams bear some responsibility for the proper functioning of the print shop. They had earlier asked their friend Granger to investigate the matter, but Granger’s investigator hadn’t made much headway. It is Smith’s recollection that when he was called in, Adams was urging that Martinez be fired and Schnabel was advancing some doubts about the wisdom of this course. Smith proposed a compromise: he would detail one of his own investigators to work with Granger’s investigator, and he suggested that Martinez not be fired just yeton the grounds that he could be made to talk more easily if he had some hope of retaining his job. Smith, whom faithful followers of Texas politics will recall as the low-key prosecutor who convicted former House Speaker Gus Mutscher in 1972 and assorted evil-doing legislators thereafter, will say no more about the case or his involvement in it. But within a few weeks, the case ceased to be an investigation of Alex Martinez and became an investigation of Charlie Schnabel. Martinez was finally fired by Adams in October. \(Only last August, Martinez had been voted the outstanding Senate employee by his coMartinez left, he carried out with a him a box of printed materials, materials he claims were produced on state equipment, by state employees, on state time, with state materialfor Charlie Schnabel’s private purposes. There were brochures for the Northwest Austin Kiwanis Club, of which Schnabel had been an officer, materials for the Northwest Austin Pony League, the Whopperburger chain, the West Lake Hills Newsletter, stuff for the Woods and Water Club, Texas Relay brochures, and some outfit that manufactures dune buggies, and letterheads for Schnabel’s ranch stationery. All this came to thousands of dollars worth of printing. Schnabel’s response to this and later developments has been evolutionary. His re-, sponses seem to evolve as new charges are brought forth. His initial response to inquiring reporters was that he thought Martinez had produced all this private printing for him at home, on a machine Martinez had in his garage. Then there was the case of the Senate employees who worked on Schnabel’s ranch. When Martinez first charged that Schnabel was using Senate employees on his ranch, Schnabel replied that some state employees had worked there, but only after office hours, or on weekends, and that he paid them himself. But then came a medical record, concerning Frank J. Smith, Jr., a Secretary Schnabel Senate employee, who injured his hand while working on Schnabel’s ranch, before 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 19. Smith was being paid by the state at the time. Schnabel then told reporters, “It’s none of your business. I’m not going to talk about it.” Schnabel also refused to discuss with reporters a $351 bonus Frank Smith received in April or the additional $378 bonus he received in July, in addition , to his regular , $673-a-month Senate salary. Schnabel may or may not own this ranch in partnership with. Rush McGinty. McGinty, former aide to former speaker Mutscher, was convicted along with Mutscher in 1972 of conspiracy to accept a bribe. Schnabel initially told reporters that he and McGinty jointly leased a couple of hundred acres out near Manor, in Travis County. He later told one reporter that it was entirely McGinty’s operation, that he only helped McGinty run the place, in return for which McGinty lets Schnabel put 18 of his own cows out there. Then there was the minor, but curious incident of the pick-up truck tires. According to sources in Alex Martinez’ camp, Schnabel ordered new tires for the Senate’s pick-up. When they arrived, he put the new tires on his own pick-up truck and donated his old tires to the Senate ‘ pick-up. According to Schnabel, as he told it to Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, Schnabel took some old tires off the Senate truck to get them re-treaded and donated the more superior tires from his truck to the Senate truck. For such a singular instance of civic-mindedness, it is only to be hoped that the lieutenant governor will make Schnabel at least an Admiral in the Texas Navy. Next came the more serious matter of the curtains. Kenneth Stephens of Jacksonville, a former Senate employee, told UPI he had kicked back part of his salary to Schnabel in 1970, ’71, and ’72. Stephens, who was then a UT student, worked part-time but was paid a full-time salary. Schnabel told Stephens he was using the difference to pay for curtains for a senator. “He had already bought them. The curtains cost more than what his budget allowed for. The money was going to have to come out of his pocket because he’d already promised them to the senator,” Stephens said. Stephens went back to work full-time in June, 1971, at which point he spent a lot of time painting a rent house Schnabel owns. completely remodeled his bathroom, painted the bedroom and the hall, and stained the panelling in the den. I had done the ceiling in the living room when I couldn’t stand the rats any more.” Stephens said Schnabel had allowed him to live in the rent house while he was painting but it was rat-infested and too far gone, so he moved out. Meanwhile, Marcela Atkinson, who has since become the wife of Alex Martinez, says she turned her $300-a-month salary over to Schnabel for nine months in 1970 when she wasn’t working at all. She also says she gave him a $410 paycheck in 1971 and two supplemental checks for a total of $139. Schnabel told her he needed the money to pay for curtains in the apartment of former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, curtains that cost more than had been budgeted. The price of curtains these days is shocking. According to sources in the Martinez camp, Stephens and Atkinson were not the only cases of payroll peculiarities in the Senate. There may have been other curtain cases. One Martinez-affiliated source says that in certain cases, an employee would be told he or she had been terminated .as of, say Dec. 31. But no change would be made on the payroll record and when the employee’s warrant came through the next month, Schnabel would call and say, “My employee so-and-so is working out of town this week, but he sure does need cash money. Can I send one of my boys over to cash his warrant?” You don’t have to sign a warrant to get it cashed, that being one of the more interesting peculiarities of the warrant system. There is no telling how much, if any truth there is to this source’s story, but it is known that the Travis County D.A.’s office is checking over the termination dates of Senate employees for the past five years. This apparently involves about 130 people, some of whom cannot be located, and federal help is being asked to find them. According to one source in the D.A.’s office, at least one instance of post-termination payment .had already been unearthed. M.I. December 26, 1975 7
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