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Transcripts from the Sulzer Exhibit

"Transcript: August 1913 Letter from Governor Sulzer to Judge Vann

Hon. Irving G. Vann,
Cranberry Lake, N. Y.

My dear Judge:

At a consultation with Judge Herrick, Austen G. Fox, and Judge Arnold at the House last night, it was thought advisable for me to write you regarding the crisis at present in our State, and to ask you to be one of our counsel and accept a retainer from the State, and the Governor.

I have known you for many years, and have the most implicit confidence in your ability and sagacity. I need your advice and help.

Of course I hate to break in on your vacation; but nothing would gratify me so much as to have you accept a retainer to help your State, and come to Albany at your earliest convenience for a consultation with Judge Herrick, myself, and others.

The enclosed will interest you, and I send the sane to you to read over.

Judge Herrick will also write you.

Of course I know you are enjoying yourself at Cranberry Lake. It is a favorite place of mine . As a matter of fact I first met you there nearly a quarter of' a century ago.

Let me hear from you at your earliest convenience; and when you come to Albany, come to the House, take dinner with us, and stay all night.  I Will have Judge Herrick and others present.

With best wishes, believe me as ever,

Very sincerely your friend,

Wm. Sulzer


"Transcript: 1914 Newspaper Article about Judge Vann

Vann Refuses Pay for Work in Sulzer Defense

Judge Says His Salary as Official Referee Was Sufficient


"I Request That in Distributing the Funds You Will Award Nothing Whatever  to Me," He Says, "for I Can Accept Nothing if Awarded."

(By a Staff Correspondent)

Albany, Feb. 7. -- Former Court of Appeals Judge Vann of Syracuse, who draws a salary of $6,000 as an official referee, has refused to share in the distribution of the funds that were appropriated by the Legislature for the counsel for the defendant in the Sulzer impeachment trial.

Judge Vann takes the position that the salary he draws as an official referee covers every service that he performs for the State. He included the services in the Sulzer case as services of that character. In his letter to Attorney General Carmody Judge Vann said:

I have just learned from Judge Herrick that you are to audit the claims of the counsel engaged in the recent impeachment and I write you, as I had previously written him, that I can accept no compensation for the little that I was able to do in defending Governor Sulzer.

We all regarded ourselves as engaged in State work, and while it is entirely right that the State should pay for such work, I am in a different situation from the other counsel engaged. At the time I was in receipt of a salary from the State as official referee and I regarded that salary as covering all State work of any kind done by me. This has been my position from the outset.

Owing to ill health, I was able to do very little, and the amount that I would be entitled to receive in any event would be of trifling importance, but the principle involved is important and I therefore request that in distributing the funds you will award nothing whatever to me, for I can accept nothing whatever even if any award should be made to me.

Before passing upon the claims Attorney General Carmody insisted that counsel interested should stipulate among themselves what each should receive for services performed.

CAPTION OF PHOTO: Former Judge Irving G. Vann, who to-day declined to accept payment from the State for his services in the defense of former Governor Sulzer at the impeachment trial.

Last Updated: November 3, 2021