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as it would be possible for bim to make the necessary arrangements. Under such peculiar circumstances, and without entertaining any doubt as to the veracity of Mr. Johr, I have thus far refrained from prosecuting bis official bond.
I have since received a communication from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of the county of St. Clair, containing their proceedings in this matter, at a special session, which I herewith submit:
At a Special Meeting of the Board of Supervisors of St. Clair County, held at the Court House in the city of St. Clair, in said County, on Tuesday, the 11th day of December, A. D. 1866, for the purpose of enquiring into an alleged robbery of Henry Johr, Treasurer of said County, B. C. Farrand, T. C. Owen and Geo. L. Cornell, were appointed a Committee to take testimony in relation thereto, and to report the same to the Board, with their opinion thereon.
Said Committee, after taking evidence in relation to said robbery, submitted to the Board, together with said evidence, the following repott: To the Board of Supervisors for the County of St. Clair:
The undersigned, who were appointed a committee to examine into and report upon the alleged robbery of the County Treasurer, on the evening of the 20th of November last, while on his way from St. Clair to Lansing, beg leave to report: That we proceeded to take the testimony of Thomas Kennedy, Deputy County Treasurer, Christian Schnoor, and Henry Johr, which is hereto annexed, and which we submit as a part of our report. We learn from this testimony that Mr. Johr was proceeding to Lansing to make his annual settlement with the Auditor General, for redemptions, and the annual Tax Sales. That while going from the cars in Detroit to the place where he usually placed his money for safe keeping over night, (the Banks being closed,) he was robbed of seven thousand five
hundred dollars of the money of the State, taken by him on the sale of lands delinquent for the non-payment of taxes.
Your committee are forced to the conclusion, from the testimony, that Mr. Johr lost the money in the manner stated, and would therefore recommend that this Board send a memorial to the Legislature, recommending Mr Johr as a reliable and trustworthy man, and requesting them to pass a special Act of relief to him and his bail.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
The report was accepted, and on motion, unanimously adopted.
The following Preamble and Resolution was presented to the Board:
Whereas, It satisfactorily appears to this Board of Supervisors, that on the 20th day of November, 1866, Henry Johr, Treasurer of this County, while on his way from this County to Lansing, to pay over moneys in his hands, belonging to the State, was robbed in the city of Detroit, of the sum of seven thousand five hundred dollars, belonging to the State; therefore,
B. C. FARRAND,
GEO. L. CORNELL,
Resolved, That we respectfully ask the Legislature of this State to take such action for the relief of Mr. Johr and his bail, as may be deemed most just, and as shall relieve him and them from the loss so sustained.
Which Preamble and Resolution was, on motion, unanimously adopted by the Board.
I, George F. Collins, Clerk of said County of St. Clair, do hereby certify that the foregoing are correct copies of the report of a Committee appointed by
the Board of Supervisors of said County, to inquire into the alleged robbery of Henry Johr, Treasurer of said County, and of a Preamble and Resolution presented to said Board, which Report and Resolution were unanimously adopted by said Board.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the seal of said County, at the City of St. [L. S.] Clair, this 14th day of December, A. D. 1866. GEO. F. COLLINS, Clerk.
As the case will undoubtedly be fully discussed in both Houses, and examined into as to its correctness and merits, I abstain from making any comment or recommendation, and would simply state, that I hold the official bond of the said Henry Johr in the penal sum of $20,000, executed and approved in strict accordance with the requirements of the statute.
Owing to a deficiency in our tax law, to which I have called attention in every Report since 1863, several counties have not made their returns of tax sales before the end of the fiscal year. I have repeatedly recommended to fix the time within which to make these returns, at the 15th day of November in each year, but no provision to that effect has ever been made by the Legislature.
Although I had instructed the County Treasurers to make their returns within that time, several of them have failed to do so. The returns of Chippewa County were only received here two days before the close of the fiscal year, and the proceeds of sales have not yet been paid.
From Houghton County neither the returns nor the proceeds of sales have thus far been received.
The Treasurer of Isabella sent his sales books and certificates, Nov. 9, but did not settle his accounts till Dec. 4. The sales books and certificates from Keweenaw were received November 3d, but the proceeds not until December 3d. The
Treasurer of Mackinaw forwarded his books and certificates the latter part of October, and settled his accounts on the 8th of December. The returns from Macomb county were made, and the account settled, December 7th. No official communicatin has to tax sales has been received from the County Treasurer of Manistee, but I have been privately informed that no sales have taken place there—whether for want of bidders or any other reason, I am unable to say.
The Treasurer of Manitou County, who keeps his office at St. James, on Beaver Island, informed methat he never received the sales books and lists forwarded to him from this office on the 5th day of September. He consequently could not offer any lands for sale. Marquette County made her roturns November 13th, but the account was not settled until December 3d.
From Menominee, the returns were received Dec. 1st, and the acconnt settled Dec. 19th. The returns from Oakland were made Nov. 13th, but the account was not settled until to-day, (Dec. 24th.) The Treasurer of Ontonagon forwarded his books and certificates Nov. 29th, but his account is not yet settled. Owing to a severe and dangerous sickness, the Treasurer of Ottawa could not make his returns until Dec. 10th; he settled his account on that day.
While there may be, in some instances, good and sufficient reasons for this delay, there are certainly other cases where County Treasurers have wilfully neglected to make their returns, and settle their accounts in proper time, and I therefore
the liberty of suggesting once more, “that the County Treasurers be compelled by law to make their returns of tax sales and sales of State Tax Lands on or before the 15th of November, in each year."
There are on our State Tax Lands Registers, lands which were bid in by the State, ten, fifteen, or even twenty years ago, and still remain undisposed of. Some of these lands were bid in by the State for special ditch taxes; others for other items of taxes; and in all cases the legality of the tax for which they were offered is somewhat questioned by the residents of the respective counties. Owing to this, the lands will probably remain undisposed of in future unless something should be done to get rid of them. I would, without recommending any definite action in this matter, suggest the appointment of a committee to consult with the Auditor General's Department, and to propose such action as would best meet both the interests of the State and of the respective counties.
It seems highly important to call your attention to an item of the expenditures from the General Fund, on Schedule C, namely, the amount paid from the Treasury for the support of the State Prison during the fiscal year.
The amounts drawn on certificates of the Board of Inspec. tors, by virtue of Section 68, Chapter 202, Compiled Laws, were as follows for the last five years: Fiscal year ending Nov., 1862,...
$8,000 00 1863,..
5,000 00 1864,...
13,000 00 1865,..
68,000 00 Until within the last two years, this Institution has not been a very heavy burden upon the tax payers of the State, but for the last two years, as you will see, the people had to pay the enormous sum of one hundred and thirteen thousand dollars for the keeping of convicted criminals, over and above all their earnings.
It is true that about $20,000 bave been expended in rebuilding workshops, destroyed by fire in 1865, and it is equally true that the number of convicts is larger than during the period from 1862 to 1865, and also that all necessaries of life have since increased in market value. But, all these facts admitted, the enormous increase of expenses, nevertheless seems astonishing
I am neither familiar enough with the details and the man.