“Charge Framed Up by a Dirty Gang”

Charge Framed UpAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

That’s the Way Mayor James G. Woodward Made Answer Saturday to Published Dictagraph [sic] Record.

After Mayor James G. Woodward and read the published dictagraph record of the conversation alleged to have been held between him, A. S. Colyar, G. C. Febuary and E. O. Miles, in room No. 31, Williams House, Wednesday afternoon, he declared that it was a “frame-up by a dirty gang.”

The mayor told The Constitution that he would be willing to start a fund to employ Burns detectives to trace the motive which inspired Colyar and his companions.

“I haven’t much money to spend, but I would contribute to a fund to carry this investigation to the finish,” he said. “It has just gone that far that it is not complete. There certainly must be more in it than has been published. I haven’t been able to find a thing but froth and no substance. Now, let’s get at the substance.”

All the Record Not Given.

Mayor Woodward says he is sore only because the dictagraph record did not get all he told Colyar and Febuary in the Williams House room. He says that some part of the conversation is reported correctly, and other parts have been eliminated and words put into the record to fit the aims of the conspirators.

“I’ll stand on a drygoods box in the center of the street at Five Points and repeat every word that I uttered in that room,” Mayor Woodward said. “There are some things I said and which were eliminated, which I have stated in print, and which I would like to have in that record as long as they have it.

“It’s all a frame-up by a dirty crowd. Now, isn’t Colyar a fine specimen to be employed by the city detectives. He is charged with everything from murder to arson.”

Mayor Woodward denies that the name of Police Commissioner Dozier was mentioned at any time during the conversation while he was in the room. He also denies making the statement that he was “especially after Beavers,” when Colyar made the remark that he had evidence sufficient in convict Beavers and Lanford.

“I didn’t mention one word about Dozier deserting Beavers. In fact I did not even know that he was with Beavers. I didn’t mention a word about any one of the commissioners, and I feel pretty sure that the names of Beavers and Lanford were not often mentioned.

Reports Are Untrue.

“I want to make it plain that every statement or report, coming from whatever source, connecting me with the Phagan case, is absolutely untrue and unfounded.

“My only connection with the case was to call council to meet in special session to offer a reward of $1,000 for the apprehension and conviction of the guilty party.”

Mayor Woodward was asked if he would take steps to have an investigation made of the entire affair.

“I have no interest in it one way or the other, so why should I start an investigation. If someone wants to start I’ll contribute to a fund for defraying the expense. Colyar and his crowd sent word to me that they had evidence of graft in the police department, and wanted me to give them $1,000 for it. They didn’t get it.”

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Atlanta Constitution, May 25th 1913, “‘Charge Framed Up by a Dirty Gang.'” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)