Commonwealth v. Mannos

Decision Date25 February 1942
Citation40 N.E.2d 291,311 Mass. 94
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

February 2, 1942.

Present: FIELD, C.

J., QUA, COX, &amp RONAN, JJ.

Bribery. Public Officer.

Municipal Corporations, Officers and agents. Accessory and Principal. Conspiracy. Pleading, Criminal, Bill of particulars. Practice, Criminal, Venue, Sentence. Evidence, Conspiracy Competency, Relevancy and materiality, Cumulative.

Bills of particulars, filed by the Commonwealth respecting charges against two defendants in indictments for requesting and accepting bribes from named persons in violation of Section 8 of G. L. (Ter. Ed.) c. 268 and in an indictment charging a conspiracy to accept bribes from persons unknown, were sufficient in that they stated that the defendants corruptly requested gratuities from persons named; that the consideration for the gratuities was the approval by one defendant, who was mayor of a city, of certain specifically enumerated contracts with certain named persons; that the gratuity which was accepted by the mayor on or about the date alleged in each count was money, the exact amount of which the Commonwealth was unable to state; and also stated as to each gratuity the name of the person who accepted it and the place where it was accepted; and motions for further particulars properly were denied. The granting of petitions of the Commonwealth under Section 57A of G. L.

(Ter. Ed.) c. 277 for leave to proceed with the trial of several indictments against two defendants, returned in the county of Middlesex and charging soliciting and receiving bribes, disclosed no error where it appeared that, in presenting the petitions the district attorney stated that he would show that one defendant, mayor of a city in that county, participated in all the payments of bribes and was a party to the entire transaction; that, while he could show that some payments were made directly to the mayor, he was unable to state which payments were so made and which were made to the other defendant; that, while the evidence would show that the payments to the other defendant were made in Suffolk County he was in doubt as to the places where that defendant transmitted those payments to the mayor.

No error appeared in the denial of motions, by one of the defendants at the trial of indictments charging two defendants with soliciting and accepting bribes and with conspiracy to accept bribes, to strike out and instruct the jury to disregard as to him evidence of alleged payments to the other defendant and of declarations by him after a certain date, stated in testimony as a date when the defendants ceased their unlawful relations, where there was evidence that such relations had not ceased on that date.

A conviction of a private citizen jointly indicted with a municipal officer for soliciting and accepting bribes in violation of Section 8 of G. L.

(Ter. Ed.) c. 268 was warranted upon evidence that, in arranging for the payment of the bribes by certain persons, in making collections from them and in turning what was collected over to the municipal officer, the private citizen personally participated as a principal in every essential step of the crime; but as to certain payments for which he arranged and in which he did not otherwise participate, he could not properly be found to have been more than an accessory before the fact to the officer's acceptance of such bribe, and as to them conviction of him under such indictment for accepting a bribe was improper.

A private citizen properly might be convicted of conspiring with a municipal officer to accept bribes from third persons in violation of G.

L. (Ter. Ed.) c. 268, Section 8.

Conviction under an indictment and bill of particulars, charging violations of Section 8 of G. L. (Ter. Ed.) c. 268 by a mayor of a city and a confederate, were warranted by evidence that, before approval by the mayor of contracts for employment of certain persons to do work for the city, corrupt bargains had been made with them whereby, in consideration of such approval, they were to pay to the mayor certain portions of sums later to be received by them under the contracts, and that such sums afterwards were paid.

Evidence of certain directions given at about the same time separately by a municipal officer and by a private citizen, which tended to show the relationship of the two to each other and as to certain funds that they solicited and received from persons engaged in the erection of municipal buildings, was admissible at their trial upon a joint indictment charging them with receiving bribes in violation of Section 8 of G. L.

(Ter. Ed.) c. 268, and with conspiracy to accept such bribes.

A single sentence imposed after verdicts of guilty upon all of several counts of an indictment must be reversed where this court adjudged that the verdicts on certain counts were not warranted.

INDICTMENTS, found and returned on December 19, 1940. The indictments were tried before Williams, J.

F. T. Leahy, (G.

I. Kellaher with him,) for the defendant Lyons.

H. F. Callahan, for the defendant Mannos. R. F. Bradford, District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

RONAN, J. These defendants have been found guilty of requesting and accepting bribes from architects engaged in certain construction work for the city of Cambridge, after a trial upon four indictments charging them with soliciting and receiving bribes in the first and third from one Greco in the second from one McLaughlin, and in the fourth from one Varney. They were also found guilty of a conspiracy to accept bribes from persons unknown. They have appealed in the bribery cases and have filed a bill of exceptions in the conspiracy case.

The defendant Lyons was elected mayor of the city of Cambridge in 1937 for a two-year term commencing January 1, 1938, and in 1939 he was reelected for a further term which ended on January 1, 1942. The defendants Mannos and Lyons were close political friends. Mannos was his political manager in 1935, when Lyons made an unsuccessful attempt to be elected mayor, and again in 1937. Mannos contributed generously to Lyons's campaigns in those years and also collected considerable funds for expenses incurred in each of these campaigns. He was interested in the election of Lyons in 1939 but he was not so active as in the previous years. They frequently lunched together, and made various trips to New York. Their relations were friendly and intimate. When Lyons first took office there was genuine need of repairs to some of the municipal buildings and for the construction of new buildings. The matter had been publicly discussed and it was generally known that a building program would be undertaken if suitable financial arrangements could be made.

Greco testified that he told Lyons early in January, 1938, that he would like to be considered if the city was to do any construction work. He then saw the defendant Mannos at the latter's office in Boston, who told him that he would see what he could do. Mannos asked him if he would be willing to contribute a part of his commission to the campaign and the witness said he would. He again saw Mannos in March, who told him to see Lyons regarding the remodelling of a fire station. He saw the mayor in reference to the fire station and in accordance with the request of the mayor he made an investigation and filed a report with him. On April 23, 1938, the witness executed a written contract in behalf of his firm with the city to act as architect on this job. In the spring of 1938 he saw Mannos from time to time and inquired for work as he had heard that the construction of other buildings was contemplated. He then brought to the mayor a representative of the Federal government who was engaged in seeking appropriate projects for the expenditure of P. W. A. funds. At this conference the mayor enumerated eight projects which he desired to have done. In answer to a question of this representative as to who the architects were to be, the mayor named Beal for the tuberculosis hospital, Shaw for the Webster School, McLaughlin for the library and the maternity hospital, and the witness for the remaining four projects. Thereafter, Greco's firm executed three written contracts with the city for the construction of a garage, an incinerator, and an addition to the high and latin school, respectively. Lyons executed these contracts in behalf of the city. The outdoor parking project, the fourth piece of work which the mayor had mentioned, was never undertaken. The Kimball Company did the engineering work on the school, as that company generally performed such services for Greco's firm. Mannos had suggested hiring that company. Mannos told Greco that he would like to have Cleverdon, Varney & Pike have the engineering work on the incinerator and Greco hired them. Prior to securing these contracts Greco was told by Mannos that his contribution to the campaign fund would be one third. As he received payments from the city he went to Mannos's office and paid him in cash one third of the amount. He made numerous payments commencing with July 19, 1938, and ending with August, 1940. Seven of these payments were made to Lyons, two were to either Lyons or Mannos, and all the other payments were to Mannos. After he had made the first five payments to Mannos, Lyons told him in March, 1939, that "from now on I was to give the money to him, and not to Mannos." He then commenced to make the payments to Lyons. The payments to Mannos were made in Boston and those to Lyons were made in Cambridge. He paid Mannos about $13,000 and Lyons about $8,000. Payments were made by Greco as payments were received by his firm from the city.

McLaughlin testified that he saw Mannos in April, 1938 ...

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3 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Mannos
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 25 Febrero 1942
    ...311 Mass. 9440 N.E.2d 291COMMONWEALTHv.MANNOS et al.Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex.Feb. 25, 1942. Paul Mannos and one Lyons were convicted of requesting and accepting bribes on four indictments and of a conspiracy to accept bribes, and they appeal in the bribery cases an......
  • Allen v. City of Cambridge
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 2 Junio 1944
    ...go outside the record, the facts would appear from Bell v. Treasurer of Cambridge, 310 Mass. 484, 38 N.E.2d 660, and Commonwealth v. Mannos, 311 Mass. 94, 40 N.E.2d 291. By that statute the rights, powers and duties of the mayor were transferred to the president of the city council ‘during ......
  • Allen v. City of Cambridge
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • 2 Junio 1944
    ... ... Again, if we were to go outside the ... record, the facts would appear from Bell v. Treasurer of ... Cambridge, 310 Mass. 484 , and Commonwealth v ... Mannos, 311 Mass. 94 ... By that statute the rights, ... powers and duties of the mayor were transferred to the ... president of the city ... ...

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