State v. London, 26981.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtSIMPSON, Justice.
Citation194 Wash. 458,78 P.2d 548
PartiesSTATE v. LONDON.
Docket Number26981.
Decision Date21 April 1938

78 P.2d 548

194 Wash. 458

STATE
v.
LONDON.

No. 26981.

Supreme Court of Washington

April 21, 1938


Department 1.

Appeal from Superior Court, King County; Calvin S. Hall, Judge.

Mel London was convicted of asking and receiving a bribe, and he appeals.

Affirmed. [78 P.2d 549]

Vanderveer & Bassett, of Seattle, for appellant.

B. Gray Warner, Pros. Atty., John M. Schermer, and Henry Clay Agnew, all of Seattle, for the State.

SIMPSON, Justice.

Appellant was indicted by the grand jury of King county on ten counts for the crime of asking and receiving a bribe. Upon trial the verdict of the jury found appellant guilty on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7, and not guilty on counts 5, 8, 9, and 10. Judgment was entered upon the verdict fixing the maximum sentence at ten years on each count, the sentences to be served concurrently.

Count 1 of the indictment provided in part: 'He, said Mel London, in the County of King, State of Washington, on or about the 7th day of February, 1936, then and there being, and being the duly appointed, qualified and acting assistant road supervisor of the third or north commissioner's district and road district of said King County, and being the de facto road supervisor for said district and being the person who then executed the functions of road supervisor for said district, there being then no road supervisor for said district other than he, the said Mel London, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously, directly and indirectly ask and receive from one Ben Nicholson money in the sum and of the value of forty-five dollars ($45.00) in lawful money of the United States, as compensation, gratuity, reward and bribe, upon an agreement and understanding that his, the said Mel London's opinion, judgment, action, decision and official proceeding would be influenced thereby in this, that he, the said Mel London would purchase for and cause to be purchased by, said King County certain concrete pipe required by said road district, for the maintenance and construction of county roads within said district, from the Nicholson Concrete Pipe Company, a partnership, and that he would approve and certify the bills covering such purchase, the duty of maintaining and constructing county roads within said district, and the duty of purchasing and ordering the [194 Wash. 460] purchase of materials for such maintenance and construction, and the duty of certifying all bills for such material, being official duties of the said Mel London as [78 P.2d 550] such assistant, acting and de facto road supervisor.'

The contents of the remaining nine counts are essentially the same except as to the dates, amounts, and the names of the persons paying the alleged bribe. The following amounts appear in the remaining counts: $126, $50, $40, $50, $104, $12, $58, $46, and $60, and these amounts were alleged to have been paid to appellant either by Ben or Clem Nicholson.

Attention is directed to the following statutes which were in force at the time of the happening of the events hereinafter referred to, and which are germane to this case: Rem.Rev.Stat. § 6398-2, provides the boards of county commissioners shall form their respective counties into suitable road districts. Rem.Rev.Stat. § 6398-3, provides the board of county commissioners may appoint road supervisors, who are required to give an official bond to the county, and after the approval of such bond by the board and the filing thereof with the county auditor, he shall be authorized to exercise the powers and duties of road supervisor. Rem.Rev.Stat. § 6398-4, provides the road supervisor, under the direction of the county commissioners, shall supervise the maintenance of roads and bridges within his district, and certify all bills for labor and material therein.

The essential facts may be summarized as follows: King county is divided into three road districts, namely, the south district, the city district, and the north district, otherwise designated as districts numbered 1, 2, and 3, respectively. We are here concerned with the activities of King county relating to roads in the north district, No. 3, during the period from August,[194 Wash. 461] 1935, up to the winter of 1936. In this district there were two shops operated by the county, namely, the Haller Lake shop and the Redmond shop. Supplies purchased by the county for roads were delivered at these shops. It appears there was in this district, during the above-mentioned period, no road supervisor who had been duly appointed by the board of county commissioners of King county or qualified until the appointment of one A. J. Turnbull in September, 1936.

From September, 1935, until August, 1936, appellant was on the pay roll of the north district as an employee of King county. It now becomes material to ascertain in what capacity he was engaged in this road district.

Appellant, whose true name is Melvin Ned Riggs, testified that his duties in the north road district were those of a public relations man between the road district, the county commissioners' office, and the general public. He testified further that he was listed as assistant road supervisor for this King county road district with headquarters at Redmond and a local office in the county-city building in Seattle.

From September, 1935, until August, 1936, appellant's name appeared in the body of pay rolls for the north district uniformly as 'assistant supervisor,' and these pay rolls were approved by him. In approving these pay rolls appellant signed his name as 'supervisor,' 'acting supervisor,' and 'assistant supervisor' on different months during the above mentioned period. The nature of appellant's duties in the road district and his official position will be more clearly presented as we proceed with the presentation of the facts of this case.

Incident to the maintenance of roads and the construction of roads involved in W.P.A. projects in this road district, it became necessary to purchase a considerable amount of pipe. While it is true that pipe [194 Wash. 462] was purchased from several sources, a large proportion thereof was purchased from the Nicholson Concrete Pipe Company. This company appears to have been owned principally by one Archie Nicholson, and his two sons Ben and Clem were manager and bookkeeper thereof, respectively. Ben severed his relations with the company May 14, 1936.

The procedure followed in effecting purchases of pipe was as follows: A certain white slip of paper, on which is designated in handwriting the pipe desired and the company from which the same was to be purchased, emanated either from the Redmond or Haller Lake shops from which the pipe was ordered. The name of appellant appears thereon certifying that the items listed were a just and legal charge against King county. This white slip was in turn forwarded to the King county purchasing agent who ordered from it.

Mr. Ben Nicholson, of the Nicholson Concrete Pipe Company, testified that in the middle of August, 1935, he and appellant met together at the Redmond shops in Redmond. At that time appellant asked Ben Nicholson if he was friendly toward the administration, and Mr. Nicholson replied that he was, and that he appreciated the business he secured from King county. [78 P.2d 551]

Appellant exhibited a list of pipe that he was desirous of obtaining and asked Mr. Nicholson if the Nicholson Concrete Pipe Company could donate to the county campaign. Mr. Nicholson stated that he thought the pipe company could do so. He also testified that in the conversation relative to the donation for the campaign appellant made the following statement to him: 'Well, he said if we would get together, we might do both ourselves some good.'

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16 practice notes
  • State ex rel. Schara v. Holmes, No. 9623
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • April 6, 1956
    ...286, 291, 195 S.W. 686, L.R.A. 1917F, 535; State ex rel. Bailey v. Wayne County Court, 92 W.Va. 67, 70, 114 S.E. 517; State v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548, 115 A.L.R. 1255; State ex rel. Fangman v. Police Relief Fund, 72 Ohio App. 51, 53, 50 N.E.2d 609; Pleasant Hills Borough v. Jeff......
  • First Nat. Bank of Worland v. Financial Institutions Bd., No. 5258
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • September 15, 1980
    ...Ward, 173 U.S. 452, 19 S.Ct. 459, 43 L.Ed. 765 (1899); May v. City of Laramie, 58 Wyo. 240, 131 P.2d 300 (1942); See State v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548 CONSISTENCY OF § 13-2-211, W.S.1977 WITH § 13-2-212, W.S.1977 (ISSUE B) Appellants contend that they were not placed on notice of ......
  • People v. Woodruff, No. 33904
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • September 25, 1956
    ...liability for his criminal acts in that capacity by showing that he was never legally appointed to the office.' In State v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548, 115 A.L.R. 1255, the defendant was indicted for receiving a bribe in the discharge of his official duties and conviction was sustai......
  • Nell v. State, No. 70--744
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 6, 1972
    ...appellate Courts of Florida have consistently adhered to the majority view in the nation as stated in State of Washington v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548, 115 A.L.R. 1255. State v. Bowling, 1967, 5 Ariz.app. 436, 427 P.2d 928; Ingram v. State, 1958, 97 Ga.App. 468, 103 S.E.2d 666; Sta......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • State ex rel. Schara v. Holmes, No. 9623
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • April 6, 1956
    ...286, 291, 195 S.W. 686, L.R.A. 1917F, 535; State ex rel. Bailey v. Wayne County Court, 92 W.Va. 67, 70, 114 S.E. 517; State v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548, 115 A.L.R. 1255; State ex rel. Fangman v. Police Relief Fund, 72 Ohio App. 51, 53, 50 N.E.2d 609; Pleasant Hills Borough v. Jeff......
  • First Nat. Bank of Worland v. Financial Institutions Bd., No. 5258
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • September 15, 1980
    ...Ward, 173 U.S. 452, 19 S.Ct. 459, 43 L.Ed. 765 (1899); May v. City of Laramie, 58 Wyo. 240, 131 P.2d 300 (1942); See State v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548 CONSISTENCY OF § 13-2-211, W.S.1977 WITH § 13-2-212, W.S.1977 (ISSUE B) Appellants contend that they were not placed on notice of ......
  • People v. Woodruff, No. 33904
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • September 25, 1956
    ...liability for his criminal acts in that capacity by showing that he was never legally appointed to the office.' In State v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548, 115 A.L.R. 1255, the defendant was indicted for receiving a bribe in the discharge of his official duties and conviction was sustai......
  • Nell v. State, No. 70--744
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 6, 1972
    ...appellate Courts of Florida have consistently adhered to the majority view in the nation as stated in State of Washington v. London, 194 Wash. 458, 78 P.2d 548, 115 A.L.R. 1255. State v. Bowling, 1967, 5 Ariz.app. 436, 427 P.2d 928; Ingram v. State, 1958, 97 Ga.App. 468, 103 S.E.2d 666; Sta......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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