U.S. vs. Matthew S. Murray: Judgment
Judgment in Criminal Case No. 14652: United States vs. Matthew S. Murray, defendant. Judge Albert L. Reeves' statement addresses the issue of whether certain payments are to be considered gifts, as the defendant claims, or compensation, which would be taxable, says that the deciding factor between the two is the intention of the parties involved, and suggests further inquiry into that question is required. Those payments were made by John J. Pryor, E. L. Schneider, and T. J. Pendergast during the period that Murray served as Kansas City's Director of Public Works and State Director of the Works Progress Administration, a position that possessed the power to grant business to the aforementioned men, and whose business did receive those contracts during the same time period. The statement also argues that Murray earned good salaries from both positions, and that "it would be rare to offer such gifts to a person, not in need, in installments, over so long a time." The judge decides that the payments were not made as gifts, but as "consideration of favors obtained from the defendant in his official capcity and ... intended as compensation," and that it is not credible to believe that the defendant understood them to be otherwise. Given that the payments are understood to be compensation, and that taxes were not paid on that income, Reeves finds the defendant guilty as charged.