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COMMONWEALTH v. SCHWARTZ (07/21/55)

July 21, 1955

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SCHWARTZ, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 67, April T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Erie County, Nov. T., 1954, No. 309, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Stanley M. Schwartz. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Edward E. Petrillo, for appellant.

Damian McLaughlin, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Wright, Woodside, and Ervin, JJ. (gunther, J., absent).

Author: Rhodes

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 436]

OPINION BY RHODES, P.J.

This is an appeal by defendant from conviction and sentence on a charge of bribery brought under the penal provisions of the Third Class City Law of June 23, 1931, P.L. 932, Art. IX, § 911, as amended by the Act of June 28, 1951, P.L. 662, § 9, 53 PS § 12198-911.

The charge grew out of an extensive investigation by the District Attorney of Erie County into alleged

[ 178 Pa. Super. Page 437]

    bribery of officials and employes of the City of Erie in connection with gambling or the operation of the "numbers racket" in that city. The inquiry resulted in indictments against about forty persons, twelve of whom were tried and convicted, while eighteen pleaded guilty.

The bill of indictment at No. 309, November Sessions, 1954, in the Court of Quarter Sessions of Erie County, charged Stanley M. Schwartz, the appellant, with giving money, to wit, $500, to Thomas W. Flatley, Mayor of the City of Erie, to influence him in the performance or nonperformance of his official duties as mayor by willfully failing to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth pertaining to gambling. The jury returned a verdict of guilty against appellant, and his motions for new trial and in arrest of judgment were refused by the court below. On appeal to this Court, appellant alleges the court below erred in refusing to grant his motions. We shall consider the numerous contentions presented.

Appellant's assertion that the evidence is not sufficient to sustain the conviction is devoid of merit as a brief review of the evidence discloses. The first witness called by the Commonwealth was Jack Martin, formerly a police inspector of the City of Erie, who had also been indicted for bribery and had pleaded guilty. Martin told of a meeting in Mayor Flatley's office on or about April 10, 1954, at which appellant and the mayor were present. It was there agreed that Martin should see certain gamblers or "numbers men" and collect money from them. These collections had formerly been made by one Henry Soscia, who had been dropped as collector because of ...


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