The 1921 Trail of Saratoga’s District Attorney That Turned Into A Riot


On Could eleventh, 1921, Saratoga County District Legal professional Charles Andrus stood earlier than Justice Henry Borst on the courthouse in Ballston Spa for the beginning of a legal trial.It will need to have been a wierd feeling that day for Andrus as a result of in contrast to numerous different instances earlier than the court docket, this time the District Legal professional was seated on the defendant’s desk. He had been indicted on expenses of neglect of obligation, bribery, and corruption. His trial can be extraordinary on many ranges.To start with, Andrus was being prosecuted by Particular Deputy Legal professional Basic Wyman Bascom, appointed by Governor Alfred Smith. Bascom was assisted by former New York State Senator and longtime Saratoga Republican energy dealer Edgar T. Brackett. Brackett had as soon as been the legal professional for the “Prince of the Gamblers” Richard Canfield. He was now firmly within the anti-gambling camp and a bitter political enemy of Andrus.Andrus was defended by legal professional William Fallon. Often known as “The Nice Mouthpiece,” Fallon specialised in acquiring acquittals for his purchasers (generally by bribing jurors) and was an legal professional for the infamous gangster Arnold Rothstein.Among the many witnesses in opposition to Andrus have been low-level gamblers and associates of Rothstein and his companions within the playing on the Arrowhead Inn close to Saratoga Lake, Cornelius Fellows and Benny Russell.Fellows and Russell, together with native man Jules Formel and Metropolis of New York gambler John Ward have been companions in a playing enterprise with Rachel Brown at 210 South Broadway in Saratoga Springs in July 1919. After spending the summer time of 1919 playing in Saratoga Springs, Rachel Brown headed over to Chicago and acquired blended up within the Black Sox Scandal during which a number of Rothstein associates, together with Brown, have been indicted for making an attempt to repair the World Sequence.On July twenty seventh, 1919, the sport at 210 South Broadway had been raided by police. The next afternoon, Rachel Brown and buddies made a visit to the police station and stole the proof from one of many jail cells with the assistance of police sergeant Edward Carroll. Three weeks later, police raided one other sport on Round Avenue and seized again among the proof that had been taken. Inside six months, Sergeant Carroll was promoted to Chief of Police. All this prompted Governor Smith to nominate Bascom whose investigation led to the fees in opposition to District Legal professional Andrus accusing him of being in league with the gamblers at 210 South Broadway.Throughout Adrus’s trial, John Ward testified that he, Formel and Russell had met collectively within the spring of 1919 and to obtain approval from the District Legal professional to open the gaming den. He mentioned Andrus had been paid over $2,500 in safety cash for the playing at 210 South Broadway throughout the summer time of 1919 earlier than the raids put an finish to the operation.Wyman Bascom tried to introduce a ledger into proof that confirmed the payoff for one evening’s playing at 210 South Broadway. Ward didn’t want the paper to elucidate the payoff system. The highest line confirmed that twenty-five p.c of the evening’s take was to be given to “The Boss.” The remaining break up of the earnings was; thirty-three p.c every to himself and Formel, fifteen p.c to Rachel Brown, twelve p.c to Russell and 7 p.c to Fellows.Different witnesses testified that Andrus was upset that Formel had made $3,800 in payoffs however nonetheless owed $4,000 and due to this fact had orchestrated the 1919 raids, and that Brown as soon as held up $4,300 and yelled “That is for the District Legal professional!” in a crowded playing corridor. Andrus had negotiated a settlement between Russell and Formel when Russell backed out of the plan, and open playing had been allowed by the District Legal professional in a minimum of fifteen locations all through the town, together with one virtually subsequent door to Andrus’ workplace on Broadway.Andrus by no means took the stand to disclaim the particular allegations and his attorneys by no means bothered to disclaim them both. Slightly, the protection merely claimed that it was the job of the police to make arrests, not the District Legal professional, and that the entire investigation was politically motivated.Regardless of all of the proof on the contrary, a hung jury by a vote of 11 to 1 was returned on Could seventeenth, 1921.In response to the excellent news, a few of Andrus’ supporters rioted in celebration. Racing up and down Broadway, pulling hearth alarms, vandalizing the porches of residents who supported the prosecution, and lighting a bonfire on Senator Brackett’s entrance garden whereas breaking out the home windows of his house.Seven months after his acquittal, Charles Andrus was re-elected to the workplace of District Legal professional for Saratoga County.Picture: the “divy sheet” displaying the break up of playing earnings at 210 South Broadway on July 20, 1919 (Courtesy Saratoga Springs Historical past Museum).Greg Veitch is the retired Chief of Police in Saratoga Springs and the writer of two books in regards to the historical past of playing, crime, corruption, and the mob at Saratoga Springs. All of the Regulation within the World Received’t Cease Them and A Gangster’s Paradise can be found at or essay is introduced by the Saratoga County Historical past Roundtable and the Saratoga County Historical past Heart. 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