Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, Committee of the Whole in the Investigation of Charges Made in the House of Representatives Against S.H. Terrell, Comptroller:
An Inventory of Proceedings at the Texas State Archives, 1930
The first report of the Texas State Auditor and Efficiency Expert, filed in the Legislature, made serious charges of official misconduct against certain Texas state officials. The Comptroller of Public Accounts, S.H. Terrell, was particularly singled out and charged with 24 violations of the laws of the state and duties of the Comptroller, including inadequate and improper accounting, refusal to secure approval for accounts before presenting them to the State Treasurer for payment, and misappropriation of public funds. On February 7, during the Fourth Called Session of the 41st Legislature, 1930, Representative Alfred Petsch offered House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 18 proposing an investigation of these charges by means of a joint committee composed of two Senators and three Representatives. A quorum call was made for the purpose of voting on the resolution but a quorum was not achieved until February 10. By this time House members had decided on a different method of investigation, offering 18 counts of impeachment, authored by Representatives Petsch, Joseph McGill, and Coke Stevenson, against Comptroller Terrell. Representative McGill then offered an unnumbered simple resolution that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole to take up the impeachment charges. McGill's resolution was adopted that day and HCR 18 was tabled.
The Texas Legislature's House Committee of the Whole in the Investigation of Charges Made in the House of Representatives Against S.H. Terrell, Comptroller, met for the first time at 5:30 in the evening on February 10, 1930. Representative Phil Sanders was appointed Chair, Representatives McGill Petsch, and Stevenson were appointed lawyers for the House, and Judge Sinks was appointed to decide on the admissibility of evidence. Terrell was allowed to select his own legal representation. The committee met to consider the impeachment charges on February 13, 17, 19, 20, 22, 24, and 25 (through the end of the Fourth Called Session and into the Fifth Called Session that began on February 19th). During the hearings on the 25th it was brought to the committee's attention that Comptroller Terrell had submitted his resignation to Governor Moody. Representative McGill immediately sent up a motion proposing that the House indefinitely postpone further consideration of the issue, since Terrell was now out of office and legal questions had arisen concerning the Legislature's continuing jurisdiction over the matter. McGill's motion passed unopposed.
Records consist of a transcript of the proceedings held in February of 1930 by the Texas Legislature's Committee of the Whole in the Investigation of Charges Made in the House of Representatives Against S.H. Terrell, Comptroller. The record contains testimony and mimeographed copies of financial documents collected by the Committee as evidence in the impeachment hearings held for S.H. Terrell, due to his alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds.
The proceedings are not complete. The transcripts were compiled into six volumes, one for almost each day of the proceedings; the first volume is missing. The missing volume, most likely the record of the Committee's first meeting on February 13th, seems to have been 31 pages in length and contained copies of the Committee's authorizing legislation, the impeachment charges, and initial organizational planning.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
(Identify the item), Proceedings, Committee of the Whole in the Investigation of Charges Made in the House of Representatives Against S.H. Terrell, Comptroller, House of Representatives, Texas Legislature. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 2000/178
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by an unknown agency during the 20th century. An accession number was assigned on August 2, 2000 for purposes of control.
Nancy Enneking, August 2000
The entire record of the proceedings has been printed in the House Journal of the Fifth Called Session of the 41st Legislature.
Detailed Description of the Collection