Administrative History

In November of 1915, the Joint Legislative Committee for the Investigation of the Public Service Commissions and the Administration of the Public Service Commissions Law charged Edward E. McCall, Chairman of the Public Service Commission for the First District, with misconduct in office, neglect of duty, and inefficiency. The charges of misconduct alleged that following his appointment, McCall retained ownership of capital stock in a public service corporation subject to the supervision of the commission on which he served. The committee alleged that McCall neglected his duty to safeguard the interests of the City of New York and its inhabitants by exercising his powers as chairman to the particular advantage of certain stock interests. Lastly, the committee alleged that McCall was inefficient and neglectful in his supervisory duties on the commission due to time devoted to the pursuit of his own, private law practice. The committee ultimately requested that Governor Charles S. Whitman remove McCall from office.

McCall submitted a written answer to the committee's charges to the governor and was summoned to appear in the Executive Chamber on December 3, 1915 to publicly answer the charges. McCall contended that he had transferred ownership of the capital stock in question to his wife prior to his appointment. The governor concluded that McCall failed to comply with statutory requirement that taxes be paid upon the transfer of stock, thereby nullifying the legal standing of the transfer. Furthermore, Whitman stated that even if McCall technically adhered to the law in divesting himself of the stock, he violated the spirit of the law in the manner in which he did so. On December 6, Governor Whitman issued an order removing McCall from his position on the Public Service Commission.