Woodward Hoots at the Idea of “Plot” to Oust Beavers

Woodward Hoots

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

Atlanta Journal

Sunday, May 25th, 1913

Mayor Woodward last night was interviewed by a Journal reporter in regard to Chief Beavers’ statement.

Among other things, the mayor said:

“I haven’t read the chief’s statement; but if he charges or intimates that I am connected with or in sympathy with any conspiracy to throw him out of his job, then he is simply mistaken.

“I have not been a supporter of Chief Beavers since I became mayor, but everybody’s known that. There’s been no secret about it so far as I was concerned. I’ve got nothing personal against him. I simply differ with his policy in reference to the vice question. And I must say that neither he nor Chief Lanford have elevated the standard of the police department in the way they have handled the situation.

“Now, understand me. I don’t want to get into any controversy with Chief Beavers. As I said, I’ve got nothing against him personally at all. And I have not hampered him or intersfeerd [sic] with him in his management of that police department, and don’t intend to.

“As for conspiracy which you say he speaks of, there is no such thing so far as I know. I think about the conspiracy that exists, is what Lanford and his detectives have tried to create.

“It looks like the detectives fixed up what they thought was a nice little trap, and then went to work to catch everybody they had it in for—myself included.

“Of course if I had it to do over again I probably wouldn’t go to the Williams House. I shouldn’t have gone when I did, I reckon, but should have made them see me in my office if they had anything in the way of graft evidence. But I went, and there was absolutely nothing said by me that I am ashamed of or want to conceal from the public.


“This much I will say, though, and that is if the dictograph record purporting to show what was said is a fair sample of the dictograph, then it is one of the biggest fakes that ever came down the pike. I used to think it was a fine thing in detecting criminals and such like, but I think now that it must be used by very honest, high-toned men or else it becomes an instrument of crookedness and blackamil [sic].

“Ed Miles simply came to me and said he thought he had found some evidence of graft in the police department and asked me if I would mind going with him over to the Williams House. I couldn’t go right then, but went over later.

“My motive was simply this, and no more: If there was evidence of graft in the police department—real evidence—I wanted it. Certainly I did. A man would be a poor mayor if he wouldn’t want to unearth graft, if such existed. I told them if they had anything that would be of value, that is, something that could convince, I thought they needn’t be uneasy about Febuary losing his job, or about being paid for their trouble. And by that I didn’t mean they’d be paid in a way that was improper. That was all there was to it. They promised to deliver the goods, but I never heard from them any more.”

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Atlanta Journal, May 25th 1913, “Woodward Hoots at the Idea of “Plot” to Oust Beavers,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)