July 27, 1909
The resignation of Patrick O'Hearn as superintendent of the workhouse, effective this morning, was demanded by Mayor Crittenden in a letter to O'Hearn mailed last night. The letter should be in the hands of O'Hearn when he reports at the institution today. The action of the mayor was based on the official report of the board of pardons and paroles, and the demand that the superintendent be removed without further ceremony.
"I have mailed a letter to Mr. O'Hearn asking for his immediate resignation. He should receive it by the early mails tomorrow," said the mayor.
"But suppose he does not resign?"
"I have no fears in that direction. It will be safe to say that Mr. O'Hearn will not be superintendent of the workhouse after tomorrow morning. The whole thing is a closed incident. Officially I asked the board to investigate workhouse conditions. It has done so, and its verdict is in my hands.
"The workhouse has been a source of much annoyance and tribulation to every administration. Naturally my administration came in for the share of odium and criticism that springs up regularly year in and year out. I am glad I had the investigation made. It was the means of disclosing conditions at the city's penal institution that should and will be corrected."
"Who is to be O'Hearn's successor?"
"I have several men of integrity and sound judgment who are good disciplinarians under consideration, but I do not know if any of them would accept the position for the salary, which is $150 a month. A man possessed of the requirements to make a satisfactory superintendent of the workhouse is not looking for $150 a month job. He is better employes and better paid."
The mayor said that possibly by tonight or tomorrow he will be able to announce the name of the new superintendent, and that in the meantime the board of pardons and paroles will exercise jurisdiction over the workhouse.
It is thought that most of the guards under the O'Hearn regime will be discharged.
There was talk in political circles last night that Edward Winstanly, city purchasing agent was being considered as O'Hearn's successor, but the report was not taken seriously. It was argued that the man who will be appointed must have had some experience in handling prisoners.
"Everything that belongs to the city will be returned," declared the mayor.
This means an effort will be made to recover the two calves and a black mare, claimed by the city, which testimony at the hearing showed had been sent from the workhouse during O'Hearn's administration.
O'Hearn was appointed superintendent in April, 1908. His wife is matron of the institution, but whether she will be asked to resign has not been determined.
The report of the board of pardons and paroles deals with conditions past and present at the workhouse, and contains many recommendations for improvements.