Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Austin Hearing

And so we went down to Austin to hear the Legislative committee hearing on Galveston. One of the first witnesses was Mayor Herbert Cartwright. (People do not come to Galveston to go to church, he said.) Another notable witness was Sheriff Frank Biaggne. He testified that he went to check on the Balinese Room but they would not let him in "because you had to be a member to be admitted." Most of the Mafia figures refused to testify because of the self incrimination clause in the Constitution. That night in the ballroom of one of the Austin hotels the men who ran the Balinese Room and their attorneys held a gathering. I was admitted after I swore that I would not write anything about what happened at this meeting. Inside the room I discovered that more than half the members of the Texas Legislature were present. (They also had been guests at the B-Room) In other words, the hearing was a farce. But Will Wilson was not about to give up. He sent the Rangers once again and he filed an injunction against the Balinese Room. That was it. Most of the Mafia figures who were still young enough to be active went to Las Vegas. Those who did not leave town retired. But Will Wilson did not achieve his goal of becoming governor. That was the end of his political career. (Next: Sheriff Biaggne.)

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