Felder Denies Phagan Bribe; Calls Colyar ‘Crook and Liar’

Felder DeniesAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Friday, May 23rd, 1913

Colonel Felder late this afternoon issued this statement:

“The first development in this case was a visit from Colyar, at which he told me that the police were framing up on me, Dorsey and The Constitution. He said the police had affidavits to show that we were working in the interest of Leo Frank, and that large sums of money had been paid us and that I had been paid by an uncle of the accused man in New York.”

“Colyar also told me that he had proof of the corruption of Lanford and Beavers and that they were covering up evidence in the Phagan case. I replied to Colyar that I would not believe him; that I was not interested in the moral character of Beavers or Lanford, but that if he could produce evidence to me that the guilty persons in the Phagan murder were being shielded or that evidence was being suppressed I could verify this evidence; I might be interested in that.

“Colyar insisted that he did not want any money. Colyar brought Febuary to my office in the Equitable building. Febuary denounced the police department. He said he had evidence against Beavers and Lanford, and it was so rotten he wanted to get out. He asked me about a job. I told him that if he was able to produce such evidence as he claimed it would not be difficult to get him as good a job as he had.

“Colyar then suggested that I meet them at his room in the Williams House. I told him I couldn’t come next day but would come the day following, which was Tuesday, I think. I went there, but didn’t stay more than five minutes. I didn’t care about any dictograph. I was willing to say what I had to say at Five Points. I repeated to them that I was only interested in the Phagan case. They said they thought I was working for the Mayor and others. I told them that if they had evidence of corruption in the police department I thought Mayor Woodward would be glad to get it but that I cared nothing about it. They mentioned the fact that they were liable to be put in the penitentiary for getting this data. I told them that if they had real proof of graft I didn’t think there would be any trouble about the Solicitor not prosecuting them no matter how they got it.

“They asked if I knew who would pay a thousand dollars for it. I told them I thought I did—a Mr. Myles. They asked me if I would introduce them and I told them I would not. He then wanted me to go to East Lake to receive these documents. I refused to go. I told them I didn’t care to go.

“I saw Myles afterwards and Myles told me he thought he would go out there, but I told him Colyar was a liar and a crook and I would drop the matter.

“I will give a full and detailed statement of the whole case later. This whole plot was inspired by jealousy following my employment of the Burns Agency. Witnesses have been kept from talking to the Burns men here and barriers have been placed in their way as much as possible. In my written statement I will turn the limelight on them, although I don’t think it’s necessary. The people of Atlanta appreciate the condition of affairs.

“The affidavit printed was secured from Coleman after the arrival of the Burns detective. I was not employed by Mr. Coleman. The direct cause of my employment was the visit of a committee of ladies, but with the consent of Mr. Coleman. I refused to go into the case without the consent of the parents of the child.”

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Atlanta Georgian, May 23rd 1913, “Felder Denies Phagan Bribe; Calls Colyar ‘Crook and Liar,'” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)