Mason Blocks Attempt to Oust Chief

Mason Blocks AttemptAnother in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Georgian

Monday, May 26th, 1913

Police Board Minority as Anxious to Overthrow Chairman as Beavers and Lanford.

Well informed politicians declared Monday that any efforts to remove Chief of Police Beavers and Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford were doomed to failure because of the support of the two officers by Carlos Mason, chairman of the Police Board, and his supporters.

Despite rumors of changes of line-up on account of developments of the last few days, all indications are that, if the issue of removing Beavers and Lanford is made, the relative strength of the two old factions will remain constant, as follows:

How Board Lines Up.

For Beavers and Lanford—Chairman Carlos H. Mason, First Ward; W. P. Fain, Second Ward; W. A. Vernoy, Third Ward; B. Lee Smith, Fourth Ward; J. N. McEachern, Seventh Ward; A. R. King, Ninth Ward, and Graham P. Dozier, Tenth Ward. Total, 8.

Against Beavers and Lanford—Mayor Woodward; George E. Johnson, Sixth Ward, and Robert C. Clark, Eighth Ward.

Doubtful—A. R. Colcord, chairman of the Council Police Committee.

The most illuminating fact in the whole situation is that the minority in the Police Commission is as desirous of overthrowing the Mason faction as it is of ousting Beavers. However, a number of members of the commission were laying for Lanford’s scalp long before Beavers was made chief. Echoes of this opposition are constantly heard in the Council Finance Committee when efforts are made to secure increases in salaries for the detectives.

Police Ring Charged.

So intense are the feelings of the Mayor that he has announced he would oppose any effort of the Mason men to remove Beavers. If the Mason faction should start any reforms in the police department, which they are not at all likely to do—for Chairman Mason reiterates his confidence in his men, and declares he thinks the charges of crookedness are false—Mayor Woodward and his followers likely would oppose them. They charge the police department is being run by a “ring.”

The Mayor and his followers see a slight hope of victory through the fight over Beavers’ authority to name men for promotion. Privately, they charged that the Mason faction was dictating Beavers’ nominations, and when the vote was taken Commissioners Vernoy and Garner joined them. The result was a tie vote, and the issue has not yet been decided. But the general opinion is the change is not very significant.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, May 26th 1913, “Mason Blocks Attempt to Oust Chief,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)