Van Wyck, Mayor — Matter of

192 Public Papers of Governor Roosevelt

State of New York
Executive Chamber
Albany, November 23, 1900

In the Matter of the Charges preferred against Robert A. Van Wyck, mayor of the city of New York — Opinion

The brief presented by Mr. Hayes of counsel to the "World" undated but received in this office November 20, contains no additional testimony or indication where additional testimony can be obtained. The situation is therefore unchanged from what it was on October 4, 1900, when the Attorney General wrote his letter tome.

There is therefore, as stated by the Attorney General in his letter of November23, little to add to what was contained in his letter of October 4, and in the statement issued by me on November 17.

I concur in the Attorney General's opinion. My judgment is that the so-called ice trust is not a corporation in which the mayor of New York should have stock. But no proof has been offered of any wilful violation of law on the part of the mayor such as would justify the drastic measure of removing him from office. The power of removal from office of elective officers should be treated much as we treat the power of impeachment. It is an extraordinary and not an ordinary remedy.

The normal remedy for bad government must be an appeal to the people, and only in wholly exceptional cases is it desirable to substitute for this appeal to the people, an appeal to the power of removal or the power of impeachment.

The case is therefore dismissed.

Theodore Roosevelt

 

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