Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 13 of 94
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On May 22, there was a conference between Col. Garrison, Commissioner
Murray, himself and o*ther staff members, "We all concluded that the integrity of
the state government required a complete investigation of the extent of the bribery
involved. " It was estimated that there were considerably more than 100 slant holes.
By May 29, it appeared that a number of wells had been plugged in open defiance of
the commissioner's orders.
Now, as was indicated from Commissioner Murray's account
and the Committee is already aware, that this involved the
action of a good many people, the drilling contractors, the
drilling crews, the Railroad Commission personnel and in
many instances, personnel of some of the professional surveying
companies, and so there were a great many people
who were parties to this fraud.
The third witness was George Read, Special Agent, Intelligence Section, Department
of Public Safety. Read had been assigned, together with Ranger Jim Ray,
to assist in the investigation. He narrated the progress of the investigation and
identified the principal companies drilling deviated wells as Gibson Drilling
Company, Carter-Jones Drilling Company, George Jordan Drilling Company,
G. U. (Pappy) Yoachum and United Drilling Company.
The next witness was David S. McAngus, Assistant Attorney General. He
developed bribery involving Loren Dwight Murphy. Murphy had worked for the Railroad
Commission since 1953, being the district engineer at Kilgore from 1956 until
his dismissal in 1962. The first transaction involved pay-offs to him of $58,000
through the Haskell Carter Trustee Bank Account. Haskell Carter was a life-long
friend of Murphy. An assignment of an overriding royalty interest in the L. R.
Jacobs Lease was made to Haskell Carter, Trustee, who held that interest in trust
for L. D. Murphy and also received the money from the production and sale of that
interest. He in turn funnelled that money to Murphy.
The assignment of this interest to Haskell Carter, Trustee, came from Trust
Oil Company on September 11, 1958, effective as of April 1, 1958. On August 1,
1958, Carter assigned it to W. 0. Davis. August 17, 1959, Davis assigned it to
A. R. Sweeney. September 1, 1959, Sweeney assigned to Nivla Oil Company.
When asked about the hopscotch assignments, McAngus stated:
We find this a typical case. Many of the interests are transferred
from one operator or one person to another continuously.
They are held a short time and transferred to someone else and
sometimes come all the way back to the original grantor.
For example, this lease out of which this particular overriding royalty interest came
was transferred on November 1:, 1957 from J. W. Baton, to H. M. Harrington, to
Trust Oil Company, to Ebro Oil Company to Elba Oil Company and thence to Nortex
Oil and Gas Company.
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Texas Legislature. House of Representatives. General Investigating Committee. Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas, book, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5869/m1/13/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .