Former Broker and Assessor Very Low After Attempted Suicide With Pistol
Following an operation at the St. Francis Hospital yesterday, the condition of Dr. Washington Dodge, former banker and Assessor of San Francisco, who shot himself in the head Saturday night at his home, was said to be "as satisfactory as could be expected." His condition is understood to be extremely serious.
The attempted suicide of Dr. Dodge, for many years one of the best-known figures in the city's social and business life, has created a sensation.
Friends and business associates believe that a recent nervous breakdown, coupled with continuous brooding over a pending lawsuit and anxiety over a further lawsuit which was threatened, temporarily unhinged Dr. Dodge's mind.
The troubles of Dr. Dodge came to a head, according to his attorney, Gavin McNab, in the suit brought against Dr. Dodge by Tilden Tognazzini and Charles F. Leege, vice presidents of the Anglo-California Trust Company.
They claimed they bought stock of the Poulsen Wireless Company at exaggerated prices on the recommendation of Dr. Dodge, then president of the company.
It is also stated that a further suit was contemplated under an opinion written by Attorney Hiram Johnson, Jr. for the stockholders committee of the Poulsen Wireless Company.
That opinion contained the recommendation that Dr. Washington Dodge be sued for the recovery of a commission alleged to have been collected when president of the Poulsen Wireless.
Subsequent to submitting his written opinion, Johnson made the following statement:
"Dr. Washington Dodge admitted to me that he had received as a commission for the transfer of the Poulsen rights to the United States Government $115,000, but my investigations when East led me to believe that it is quite possible that he received as much as $170.000.
This commission was paid through the Valencia Development Company, and was part of a total commission of $480,000 paid by the Poulsen corporation to the Valencia company, in the matter of the transfer of the Poulsen rights to the United States Government."
"I have stated that neither the Valencia company nor Washington Dodge, in my judgment, is entitled to a single cent of commission on this Government transfer. The evidence which I collected when East demonstrated to my satisfaction that I am perfectly correct on this point.
You will understand that the Valencia Development Company claimed to act as an intermediary between the Federal Telegraph and the Poulsen companies and the United States Government in these negotiations.
I am in possession of facts conclusively showing that the Valencia company did not do anything to earn this huge commission.