State v. Hayes

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtMALTBIE, Chief Justice
Citation127 Conn. 543,18 A.2d 895
Decision Date04 March 1941
PartiesSTATE v. HAYES et al.
18 A.2d 895
127 Conn. 543

STATE
v.
HAYES et al.

Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut.

March 4, 1941.


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Appeal from Superior Court, New Haven County; Ernest A. Inglis, Judge.

Information charging the defendants T. Frank Hayes and others with the crime of conspiracy to cheat and defraud the city of Waterbury and taxpayers thereof, brought to the Superior Court, where the defendants Mackenzie and Levy pleaded guilty, the defendant Horgan pleaded nolo contendero, other defendants pleaded not guilty, and the issues were tried to the jury, except as to the defendant Williamson, who elected to be tried to the court; the court dismissed the information against the defendants Slavin, Murry and Ralph

18 A.2d 902

Coppeto and rendered judgment of guilty against the defendant Williamson; verdict and judgment of guilty against the remaining defendants, except defendant Borgnaes, who did not appear, and appeal by certain of the defendants.

There is no error on the appeals of Hayes, Leary, Kelly, Fleming, Dunn, Santalucia, Healey, Coppeto, Minor and Johnston. There is error in the denial of the motions to set aside the verdicts against O'Connor, Alderman, Kingsley and Meany, the judgment is set aside as to them and the case remanded with direction to grant their motions to set the verdicts aside.

Argued before MALTBIE, C. J., and AVERY, BROWN, JENNINGS, and DICKENSON, JJ.

George W. Crawford, of New Haven (Nathan Shepatin, of New Haven, on the brief), for appellant (defendant Alderman).

Samuel A. Persky, of New Haven, for appellants (defendants Minor and Johnston).

John H. Cassidy, of Waterbury, for appellants (defendants O'Connor, Healey, and Santalucia).

Benjamin Slade, of New Haven, for appellants (defendants Kingsley and Meany).

Albert W. Hummel, of Waterbury (George H. Lynch, of Waterbury, on the brief), for appellant (defendant Fleming).

Frederick H. Waterhouse, of Hartford, for appellant (defendant Leary).

William J. Wholean, of Hartford, for appellant (defendant Dunn).

Sidney S. Cassel, of Waterbury, for appellant (defendant Coppeto).

Thomas F. McDonough, of New Britain, for appellant (defendant Kelly).

James D. C. Murray, of New York City (Joseph F. Murray, of New York City, on the brief), for appellant (named defendant).

Hugh M. Alcorn, Sp. State's Atty., and Hugh Meade Alcorn, Jr., and Harold E. Mitchell, Sp. Asst. State's Attys., all of Hartford, for appellee (state).

MALTBIE, Chief Justice.

While this opinion is handed down under the name of the Chief Justice, it should be stated that it is the result of collaboration on the part of all the members of the court to an unusual degree.

On May 19, 1938, an information was filed against the following defendants: Thomas Francis Hayes, also known as Frank Hayes and T. Frank Hayes, Daniel J. Leary, Carl D. Olsen, Thomas P. Kelly, Thomas J. Fleming, Martin J. Dunn, Charles S. O'Connor, John H. Crary, Thomas A. Shanahan, Michael F. Slavin, Philip Coppeto, Ralph Coppeto, Timothy J. Horgan, Frank A. Santalucia alias Frank Burns, James P. Healey, Henry Minor, all of Waterbury; Harry E. Mackenzie of Bethel; Charles E. Williamson of Darien; Edward G. Levy and Simon J. Alderman of New Haven; Donato Pietraroria alias Dan Peters of Bristol; John G. Purdie alias John Conway, John S. Johnston, George H. Kingsley, William R. Murray, John B. Meany and Enoch Borgnaes, all of New York. These defendants will hereinafter be referred to by their surnames. The information charged that they, with others, combined, confederated and conspired together between January 1, 1930, and May 19, 1938, to cheat and defraud the city of Waterbury and the residents and taxpayers thereof, and to violate several provisions of the charter of the city and of the statutes. The information covers twenty-five printed pages in the record, states in great detail the methods alleged to have been used by the various defendants in the prosecution of the conspiracy and alleges that as a result the city of Waterbury was defrauded of more than one million dollars.

Hayes was elected mayor of Waterbury in October, 1929, and by virtue of reelec-tions he held the office up to and after May, 1938. Leary was elected comptroller of Waterbury in October, 1929, and by virtue of reelections held the office until January 3, 1938; in October, 1937, he was defeated for reelection by Sherwood L. Rowland, who on January 3, 1938, assumed the duties of the office of comptroller. Kelly was executive secretary to the mayor during the latter's term of office, and occupied a close relationship of confidence to him. Fleming was superintendent of streets from January 19, 1931, to May 19, 1938, was an appointee of Hayes and by virtue of his position was called upon to approve large payments to contractors and others. Dunn was employed in the comptroller's office when Leary was elected and continued there during the period in question; he was designated as purchasing agent and from time to time as deputy

18 A.2d 903

comptroller; he was at all times under the direction, supervision and control of Leary. O'Connor had been corporation counsel for some time prior to January 1, 1930, and held that office during the period in question by virtue of appointment and subsequent reappointment by Hayes. Crary and Shanahan were assessors and were elected and reelected throughout the period of the conspiracy; the annual salary of each was fixed by the charter at $3,100 per year. Horgan, an appointee of Hayes, was superintendent of the city hall.

Philip Coppeto was the owner and operator of a small trucking business, variously designated as Phil Coppeto, P. Coppeto and the Abrigador Digger. Santalucia was the operator of a grille in Waterbury and also claimed to be the owner and operator of a trucking business conducted under various names such as Frank Santalucia, F. Santalucia and Frankie Burns, and during the latter portion of the period as the Connecticut Supply Company. Healey was the treasurer of the H. W. Connor Company, an established trucking concern located and doing business in Waterbury. Pietraroria was a resident of Bristol, where he operated a tavern. Very large sums of money were paid to these men during the course of the conspiracy which the state claims did not represent any materials or service furnished to the city by them.

Olsen was vice president and treasurer of the Waterbury Trust Company, of which Leary was a director and one of the largest stockholders, during the period covered by the information. Minor, during the period, was an inactive member of the bar employed at the office of the Diamond Ginger Ale Company, a business enterprise controlled by Leary. Mackenzie was a resident of Bethel and Williamson was an active member of the bar residing in Darien; both were active and influential in Republican politics in Connecticut and from time to time engaged in lobbying activities in the General Assembly, especially during the sessions of 1935 and 1937, where they were employed by Hayes and Leary as hereinafter stated. Levy was an active member of the bar practicing in New Haven. Alderman was an accountant having his home and place of business in New Haven; from time to time he was employed as an accountant by the city of Waterbury, by Hayes, Olsen and Santalucia, and was also employed by Leary to do work in the Diamond Ginger Ale Company and the Waterbury Brewing Company, enterprises controlled by Leary. Purdie was a resident of New York and was employed by Hayes and Leary, the state claimed, to secure information for the purpose of preventing the disclosure of the conspiracy and of aiding in the concealment thereof. Johnston was a resident of New York and received large sums of money from the city which he claimed were in payment of services rendered in marketing bonds and securing temporary loans. Kingsley, Meany and Borgnaes were accountants having their principal office in New York; they were partners in or employees of Kingsley & Company, which, during the greater portion of the period in question, were employed to audit the books, records and accounts of the city.

On motion of Ralph Coppeto, Murray and Slavin they were discharged by the court. Borgnaes has been a fugitive from justice since the date of the information. Horgan pleaded nolo contendere. Levy and Mackenzie pleaded guilty and with Williamson, who elected trial by the court, were witnesses for the state. Alderman, Kingsley and Meany were the only defendants who took the witness stand in their own defense to offer any denial or explanation of the charges against them.

All of the defendants except Ralph Coppeto, Murray, Slavin and Borgnaes were convicted. Crary, Shanahan, Mackenzie, Williamson, Pietraroria and Purdie have served or are serving their sentences. Judgment was suspended in the case of Horgan. Olsen appealed but abandoned his appeal. The remaining defendants Hayes, Leary, Kelly, Fleming, Dunn, O'Connor, Santalucia, Healey, Philip Coppeto, Minor, Johnston, Alderman, Kingsley and Meany appealed from the denial of certain preliminary motions, from the overruling of pleas in abatement, from the judgment, from the denial of their motions to set aside the verdict as against the law and the evidence and also filed motions in arrest of judgment. We shall first consider the denial of the motions to set aside the verdict as against the evidence.

Before discussing the evidence in the case, certain principles of law necessarily involved in the decision to which we come should be stated. The question before us is not whether, upon the evidence, we would reach the same conclusion as did the jury, but if the verdict is

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"one which 12 honest men,...

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77 practice notes
  • People v. Grant, No. S057104
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 1, 1999
    ...federal Constitution does not prohibit the prosecution of "straddle" offenses. One of the early cases to do so was State v. Hayes (1941) 127 Conn. 543, 18 A.2d 895. There the defendants were tried and convicted of a conspiracy alleged to have extended from January 1930 until May 1938. In 19......
  • State v. Douglas, Nos. 3989
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • March 10, 1987
    ...prosecutions for perjury and contradicting witnesses, enumerated in Fasset [10 Conn.App. 112] and Coffee and repeated in State v. Hayes, 127 Conn. 543, 580, 18 A.2d 895 (1941). It thus did not discuss the irony of a defendant having such a right without any possible means of enforcing On ha......
  • State v. Moynahan
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • April 5, 1973
    ...convictions but, more importantly, (1) to determine that there is reasonable ground to proceed with a criminal charge; State v. Hayes, 127 Conn. 543, 581, 18 A.2d 895; (2) to see that impartial justice is done the guilty as well as the innocent; and (3) to ensure that all evidence tending t......
  • State v. Nardini
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • May 11, 1982
    ...convictions but, more importantly, (1) to determine that there is reasonable ground to proceed with a criminal charge; State v. Hayes, 127 Conn. 543, 581, 18 A.2d 895 (1941); (2) to see that impartial justice is done the guilty as well as the innocent; and (3) to ensure that all evidence te......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
77 cases
  • People v. Grant, No. S057104
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 1, 1999
    ...federal Constitution does not prohibit the prosecution of "straddle" offenses. One of the early cases to do so was State v. Hayes (1941) 127 Conn. 543, 18 A.2d 895. There the defendants were tried and convicted of a conspiracy alleged to have extended from January 1930 until May 1938. In 19......
  • State v. Douglas, Nos. 3989
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • March 10, 1987
    ...prosecutions for perjury and contradicting witnesses, enumerated in Fasset [10 Conn.App. 112] and Coffee and repeated in State v. Hayes, 127 Conn. 543, 580, 18 A.2d 895 (1941). It thus did not discuss the irony of a defendant having such a right without any possible means of enforcing On ha......
  • State v. Moynahan
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • April 5, 1973
    ...convictions but, more importantly, (1) to determine that there is reasonable ground to proceed with a criminal charge; State v. Hayes, 127 Conn. 543, 581, 18 A.2d 895; (2) to see that impartial justice is done the guilty as well as the innocent; and (3) to ensure that all evidence tending t......
  • State v. Nardini
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • May 11, 1982
    ...convictions but, more importantly, (1) to determine that there is reasonable ground to proceed with a criminal charge; State v. Hayes, 127 Conn. 543, 581, 18 A.2d 895 (1941); (2) to see that impartial justice is done the guilty as well as the innocent; and (3) to ensure that all evidence te......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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