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Boss Hague
King Hanky-Panky of Jersey

Part 15

By Jack Alexander

Originally appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on October 26, 1940
Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2002

A handful of anti-Hague lawyers tried, a few years ago, to revive the moribund Hudson County Bar Association and build up some influence over local court ethics. The spearhead of the movement was Tummulty, the man who is now running independently for, United States senator, Tumulty got himself elected second vice president and in 1938 was put up for first president. This made him dangerous as, traditionally, the officers move up a notch each year and that would have made Tumulty president in 1939. On the night of the 1938 election, Hague closed every night session of police court In Hudson County and the judges and lawyers flocked to the bar meeting. From all sections of the county, buses provided by Hague, attorneys from villages and hamlets answered the call. Forty new members were enrolled that night and nearly $1,000 in back dues flooded in, making many delinquents eligible to vote. The hall was jammed and several hundred barristers had to welt outside for their turn at the polls. As the members filed past the ballot box, District Judge Frank Hague Eggers, who is the the mayor’s nephew, checked off their names. Tummulty was snowed under and the Bar Association lapsed back into inactivity .

Not only is criticism of Hague crudely put down, but public officials who owed him their Jobs butter up the mayor and his every act to a sickening degree. In February, 1939, a position the Court of Errors and Appeals, at $9,000 a year fell vacant. Into the vacancy Governor Moore dumped Frank Hague, Jr., a thirty-four-year-old lawyer and a scarcely distinguished member of the bar. “I know this appointment will please his dad,” was Moore’s beaming comment to reporters.

When the Newark News termed the selection an affront to justice, a Common Pleas judge In Jersey City defended it, reminded the News that William Pitt had been made Prime Minister of England at twenty-four. The same judge last June rather irrelevantly told a crowd of new citizens that “Mayor Frank Hague is deserving of the thanks of the People of this country for his leadership In fighting Communism, the fifth column, borers and all subversive elements.” A police court judge once opened a hearing by banging his gavel and shouting, “ I am 100 per cent for Mayor Hague.”


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