The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace

Politicians in Trouble or Disgrace: Protecting Vice
Tolerating or profiting from gambling or prostitution

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in chronological order

  Charles F. Shilling — of Decatur, Macon County, Ill. Mayor of Decatur, Ill., 1901-04; Charged with tolerating vice, including gambling, Sunday liquor sales, slot machines, and immoral shows; tried in 1902 and acquitted. Burial location unknown.
  William Warren Rose (1864-1931) — also known as William W. Rose — of Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kan. Born in Oyster Bay, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y., March 12, 1864. Architect; mayor of Kansas City, Kan., 1905-06, 1906; defeated, 1897 (Fusion), 1907 (Democratic); delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1908, 1920. Member, Freemasons. An ouster lawsuit was filed against him in 1905 over his refusal to enforce the state's liquor prohibition law; fined $1,000 for contempt by the Kansas Supreme Court in 1907 for trying to hold office as mayor. Died May 4, 1931 (age 67 years, 53 days). Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Kansas City, Kan.
  John Looney (1865-1942) — also known as Patrick John Looney — of Rock Island, Rock Island County, Ill. Born in Ottawa, La Salle County, Ill., October 5, 1865. Lawyer; newspaper publisher; indicted with others in 1897 over a scheme to defraud the city of Rock Island in connection with a storm drain construction project; convicted, but the verdict was overturned on appeal; candidate for Illinois state house of representatives, 1900; created and led a crime syndicate in northwest Illinois, with interests in gambling, prostitution, extortion, and eventually bootlegging and automobile theft; indicted in 1907 on 37 counts of bribery, extortion, and libel, but acquitted; shot and wounded by hidden snipers on two occasions in 1908; on February 22, 1909, he was shot and wounded in a gunfight with business rival W. W. Wilmerton; on March 22, 1912, after publishing personal attacks on Rock Island Mayor Henry M. Schriver, he was arrested, brought to the police station, and severely beaten by the mayor himself; subsequent rioting killed two men and injured nine others; resumed control of the Rock Island rackets in 1921; in 1922, he was indicted for the murder of saloon keeper William Gabel, who had provided evidence against Looney to federal agents; arrested in Belen, N.M., in 1924, and later convicted of conspiracy and murder; sentenced to 5 years in prison for conspiracy and 14 years for murder; served 8 1/2 years. Irish ancestry. Died, of tuberculosis, in a sanitarium at El Paso, El Paso County, Tex., 1942 (age about 76 years). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Patrick Looney and Margaret Looney; married 1892 to Nora O'Connor; nephew of Maurice T. Maloney.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Hiram Charles Gill (1866-1919) — also known as Hiram C. Gill — of Seattle, King County, Wash. Born July 23, 1866. Republican. Mayor of Seattle, Wash., 1910-11, 1914-18; recalled 1911; defeated, 1912. Recalled from office as mayor in 1911 over his permissive attitude toward gambling and prostitution. Died January 7, 1919 (age 52 years, 168 days). Interment at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, Wash.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Edward Hull Crump (1874-1954) — also known as Edward H. Crump; Ed Crump; "Boss Crump" — of Memphis, Shelby County, Tenn. Born near Holly Springs, Marshall County, Miss., October 2, 1874. Democrat. Head, E. H. Crump Buggy Manufacturing Co.; president, E. H. Crump & Co. (involved in banking, real estate, and insurance); mayor of Memphis, Tenn., 1910-16, 1940; resigned 1916; proceedings were brought for his ouster as mayor in 1915-16, based on charges that he failed to enforce state liquor laws; when the ouster suit was upheld by the state supreme court, he resigned; Shelby County Treasurer, 1917-23; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944; U.S. Representative from Tennessee, 1931-35 (10th District 1931-33, 9th District 1933-35); member of Democratic National Committee from Tennessee, 1936-45. Died in Memphis, Shelby County, Tenn., October 16, 1954 (age 80 years, 14 days). Interment at Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tenn.
  Relatives: Married to Bessie Byrd McLean.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Books about Edward Hull Crump: William D. Miller, Mr. Crump of Memphis
  Thomas A. McWhinney (c.1863-1933) — of Lawrence, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y.; Atlantic Beach, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y. Born in Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y., about 1863. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War; postmaster at Lawrence, N.Y., 1901; automobile dealer; member of New York state assembly, 1915-23 (Nassau County 1915-17, Nassau County 1st District 1918-23); indicted in 1920 on charges that he and others had tipped off gamblers to planned police raids; tried and found not guilty. Member, Elks; Royal Arcanum; United Spanish War Veterans; Foresters; Redmen; Order of Heptasophs; Order of United American Mechanics. Suffered a stroke, and died, in Atlantic Beach, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y., November 25, 1933 (age about 70 years). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Married to Lidie Wright.
  Robert V. Mundy (b. 1854) — of Bay City, Bay County, Mich. Born in New Jersey, 1854. Hardware business; mayor of Bay City, Mich., 1917-21. In March, 1921, a grand jury charged him with misfeasance in office and neglect of duty, in his tolerance of vice such as illegal liquor sales, prostitution, and gambling in Bay City, and called for the common council to remove him from office. Mundy disputed the grand jury's authority to make this kind of report, and on his motion, it was stricken from the court record. Nonetheless, his organization was defeated in the election shortly afterward. Burial location unknown.
  Harry M. Schriver — of Rock Island, Rock Island County, Ill. Mayor of Rock Island, Ill., 1911-15, 1919-23; on March 22, 1912, angry over personal attacks published by newspaper publisher and crime syndicate boss John Looney, he had Looney brought to the Rock Island police station and gave him a severe beating; during a riot on March 27, a sniper shot at the mayor in his office; convicted in 1923 on vice protection conspiracy charges. Burial location unknown.
  Peter C. Jezewski (1883-1960) — of Buffalo, Erie County, N.Y.; Hamtramck, Wayne County, Mich. Born in New York, November 22, 1883. Republican. Pharmacist; member of New York state assembly from Erie County 6th District, 1915-16; mayor of Hamtramck, Mich., 1922-26, 1932-34; defeated, 1926, 1934. Convicted of bootlegging and other vice crimes about 1926, and spent a year in Leavenworth federal prison. Died in Hamtramck, Wayne County, Mich., December 1, 1960 (age 77 years, 9 days). Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, Mich.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Frank Frankel (1886-1975) — of Long Beach, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y.; Houston, Harris County, Tex.; Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, Calif. Born October 2, 1886. Mayor of Long Beach, N.Y., 1924, 1930-33; defeated, 1925 (Democratic primary), 1925 (Republican), 1929 (Democratic primary); founder of Long Beach Memorial Hospital indicted in September 1927 on charges of maintaining a gambling place; the charges were later dropped; in December 1929, his right to take office as mayor was unsuccessfully challenged by the Long Beach police chief, based on vote fraud (for which many had been arrested and prosecuted) and the expectation that Frankel would tolerate gambling in the city; indicted in January 1933 for fraud over his transfer of $90,000 in city funds to the Long Beach Trust Company, which subsequently closed; the indictment was dismissed in February; indicted again in May 1933, along with two city council members, over the diversion of $750,000 of state and county tax revenue to city projects; pleaded not guilty; no trial was held; the indictment was dismissed in 1937; oil producer. Died, in a hospital at Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif., June 12, 1975 (age 88 years, 253 days). Interment somewhere in Houston, Tex.
  Raleigh P. Hale (1883-1931) — of East Chicago, Lake County, Ind. Born in Columbia, Boone County, Mo., June 6, 1883. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; physician; mayor of East Chicago, Ind., 1926-30; resigned 1930; in 1929, accused of protecting vice as mayor, he and 18 others, including the East Chicago police chief and the reputed business agent for gangster Al Capone were charged in federal court with conspiracy to violate liquor prohibition laws; convicted in January 1930, and sentenced to two years in prison; on appeal, a new trial was ordered. Member, American Legion. Died suddenly, from dilated cardiomyopathy, in East Chicago, Lake County, Ind., December 1, 1931 (age 48 years, 178 days). Interment at Oak Hill Cemetery, Hammond, Ind.
  Relatives: Married, September 9, 1913, to Harriet Phillips.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Rudolph Gabriel Tenerowicz (1890-1963) — also known as Rudolph G. Tenerowicz — of Hamtramck, Wayne County, Mich. Born in Budapest, Hungary, of Polish parents, June 14, 1890. Physician; served in the U.S. Army during World War I; mayor of Hamtramck, Mich., 1928-32, 1936-39; defeated, 1932; resigned 1932; defeated, 1934; U.S. Representative from Michigan 1st District, 1939-43; defeated, 1942 (Democratic primary), 1946 (Republican primary), 1948 (Republican), 1950 (Republican), 1952 (Republican), 1954 (Republican). Polish ancestry. Tried and convicted on vice conspiracy charges in 1932; freed from prison when pardoned by Gov. William A. Comstock. Died in Hamtramck, Wayne County, Mich., August 31, 1963 (age 73 years, 78 days). Interment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
  Relatives: Son of John Tenerowicz and Antoinette (Gall) Tenerowicz; brother of Anthony C. Tenerowicz; married to Margaret Tenerowicz.
  Political family: Tenerowicz family of Hamtramck, Michigan.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Samuel Davis Wilson (1881-1939) — also known as S. Davis Wilson — of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa. Born in Boston, Suffolk County, Mass., August 31, 1881. Mayor of Philadelphia, Pa., 1936-39; died in office 1939; candidate in Democratic primary for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 1938; twice indicted by a grand jury in 1938-39 on charges related to vice and gambling in Philadelphia; never tried. Died, from cerebral thrombosis and hypertension, in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa., August 19, 1939 (age 57 years, 353 days). Cremated.
Frank L. Shaw Frank L. Shaw (1877-1958) — of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif. Born near Warwick, Ontario, February 1, 1877. Republican. Mayor of Los Angeles, Calif., 1933-38; recalled 1938; defeated, 1941; a recall campaign against him in 1938 charged that he was associated with unspecified "racketeers" and "underworld characters", and that his administration tolerated vice in the city; meanwhile, Harry J. Raymond, a private investigator nearly killed in a January 1938 bombing, charged, in a civil lawsuit for damages, that the mayor had been part of a plot by gambling and vice interests to murder him. Died, from cancer, in California Hospital, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Calif., January 24, 1958 (age 80 years, 357 days). Interment at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Calif.
  Relatives: Son of John D. Shaw.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  Image source: Los Angeles Times, April 4, 1937
  Walter L. Kanar (1901-1958) — of Hamtramck, Wayne County, Mich. Born in Warsaw, Poland, 1901. Republican. Member of Michigan state house of representatives from Wayne County 3rd District, 1931-32; defeated, 1932; mayor of Hamtramck, Mich., 1939-42. Indicted, but not convicted, on vice conspiracy charges while he was mayor. Died February 4, 1958 (age about 56 years). Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, Mich.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  William T. Michaelson — of Cliffside Park, Bergen County, N.J. Mayor of Cliffside Park, N.J., 1950-51; indicted in 1951, and again in 1953, on charges of failure to enforce gambling laws; the charges were dropped in 1955. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.
  Charles A. Heft — of Fort Lee, Bergen County, N.J. Republican. Mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., 1940-51; defeated, 1951; indicted in 1951, along with three other city officials, on charges of failing to enforce gambling laws; the charges were dropped in 1955. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.
  Joseph P. Luna — of Lodi, Bergen County, N.J. Democrat. Mayor of Lodi, N.J., 1944-51; defeated, 1951; indicted in 1951 on charges of failure to enforce gambling laws; the charges were dropped in 1955; recalled from office as borough councilman in 1960. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.
Herman Methfessel Herman Methfessel (1900-1963) — of Staten Island, Richmond County, N.Y.; Miami, Dade County (now Miami-Dade County), Fla. Born in Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., November 23, 1900. Democrat. Newspaper reporter; lawyer; member of New York state assembly from Richmond County 2nd District, 1935-38; Richmond County District Attorney, 1948-51. In September 1951, the New York State Crime Commission, investigating rackets on the Staten Island waterfront, heard testimony from Mrs. Anna Wentworth that she had seen District Attorney Methfessel in a gambling house, which implied that he was protecting vice; in response, he ordered her arrest and charged her with perjury. At the request of the Crime Commission, citing abuse of power, Gov. Thomas E. Dewey superseded him from all cases related to the investigation; in the meantime, he was defeated for re-election. In 1952, he and a subordinate were charged with official misconduct, but found not guilty. Injured in a one-car accident, and died the next day, in North Shore Hospital, Miami, Dade County (now Miami-Dade County), Fla., July 7, 1963 (age 62 years, 226 days). Burial location unknown.
  Cross-reference: Ellsworth B. Buck
  Image source: New York Red Book 1936
  Edward C. Peirce (c.1895-1955) — of New Bedford, Bristol County, Mass. Born about 1895. Democrat. Member of Massachusetts state senate, 1930; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1944, 1952; mayor of New Bedford, Mass., 1952-53; convicted in 1953 on charges of conspiracy to protect gambling, and sentenced to four years in prison; served twenty months. Died, of cancer, in a nursing home at New Bedford, Bristol County, Mass., January 31, 1955 (age about 60 years). Burial location unknown.
  Thomas W. Flatley (born c.1888) — of Erie, Erie County, Pa. Born about 1888. Democrat. Mayor of Erie, Pa., 1952-54; resigned 1954; arrested in October 1954 and charged with taking part in a gambling racket; admitted to receiving payments and pleaded guilty; sentenced to one to two years in jail, and fined $1,000. Burial location unknown.
  William W. Voisine (1897-1959) — also known as Wilfred William Voisine — of Ecorse, Wayne County, Mich. Born in Michigan, November 20, 1897. Steel executive; village president of Ecorse, Michigan, 1936-37; members of a steelworker terrorist group, the Black Legion, repeatedly attempted to kill him in 1936; Jesse Pettijohn and Lawrence Madden were later convicted of conspiracy to commit murder; mayor of Ecorse, Mich., 1948-49, 1954-57. French Canadian ancestry. Convicted in April, 1950, of falsely testifying to a Congressional committee in 1948 that he had received only the regular price for steel; sentenced to two years in federal prison. In October, 1956, a warrant was issued for his arrest, along with several members of the city council, for knowingly permitting illegal gambling in Ecorse, in return for bribes and gratuities; Gov. G. Mennen Williams initiated removal proceedings against the officials. Died in 1959 (age about 61 years). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Abel Voisine and Eugenia Jennie (Blais) Voisine; married, August 1, 1918, to Helen Pearl O'Brien.
  John T. Gregorio (1928-2013) — also known as "The Lion of Linden" — of Linden, Union County, N.J. Born in Staten Island, Richmond County, N.Y., February 6, 1928. Democrat. Florist; mayor of Linden, N.J., 1968-83, 1991-2006; defeated, 2006; shot at in his car, in March 1968; two days later, his house was firebombed; member of New Jersey state house of assembly 21st District, 1974-77; indicted in April 1975 on perjury and fraud charges, over his purchase of a vacant lot from Elizabethtown Gas Company, while conspiring to falsify documents to conceal his involvement as buyer; later charged with extorting a $25,000 kickback from a building contractor on a high school project; following jury selection, the charges were dismissed in February 1976; member of New Jersey state senate, 1978-83 (21st District 1978-81, 20th District 1982-83); indicted in September 1981 on charges of income tax evasion, concealing his interest in two "go-go bars", and for failing to enforce state alcohol laws; convicted in December 1982 of conspiracy to commit official misconduct, but found not guilty on other charges. Died, from leukemia, in Trinitas Hospital, Elizabeth, Union County, N.J., October 23, 2013 (age 85 years, 259 days). Burial location unknown.
  See also Wikipedia article — OurCampaigns candidate detail
  John J. Peluso (b. 1923) — also known as "Johnny TV" — of Newport, Campbell County, Ky. Born June 1, 1923. Mayor of Newport, Ky., 1964-68, 1976-80; defeated, 1971, 1983. Indicted in 1973 on charges of possession of stolen bonds; later dismissed. Convicted in 1983 of promoting gambling. Indicted in 1984 on federal charges of bribery and conspiracy; pleaded guilty to perjury in 1985; sentenced to ten years in prison; released in 1989. Presumed deceased. Burial location unknown.
  Anthony Joseph Bevilacqua (1923-2012) — also known as Anthony Bevilacqua — of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa.; Wynnewood, Montgomery County, Pa. Born in Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y., June 17, 1923. Republican. Catholic priest; bishop of Pittsburgh, 1983-88; archbishop of Philadelphia, 1988-2003; cardinal from 1991; offered prayer, Republican National Convention, 2000 ; accused in 2003-04 of protecting priests who were suspected of sexually abusing children; later, it was found that he had ordered a subordinate to destroy a list of 35 abusive priests, and that he had punished a priest who had raised concerns about possible abuse. Catholic. Italian ancestry. Died in Wynnewood, Montgomery County, Pa., January 31, 2012 (age 88 years, 228 days). Entombed at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, Pa.
  Relatives: Son of Luigi Bevilacqua and Maria (Codella) Bevilacqua.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
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