Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
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.
“DICTOGRAPHS NO GOOD”
“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)