During a Jan. 15 hearing of the Joint Committee on Rules, Rep. Birmingham asked Police Commissioner Herbert Wilson if he thought it strange that Oliver Garrett, the deposed head of the Boston Police Department’s liquor squad, was asking for a pension while charges were pending against him, reported the Boston Globe (Jan. 16, 1930, p. 27).
“Of course I did. But whether I thought it was strange or peculiar I had no other option but to refer the application to the Board of Health and abide by the decision of the officer of that body making the examination. I merely followed the law,” Wilson replied.
Wilson explained that Garrett was first injured on Aug. 2, 1927, and then again at the Marshfield Fair on Aug. 22, 1929. Garrett apparently fell off a horse and hit his head.
Garrett filed an application for a pension on Sept. 27, 1929, and the pension was granted some time later.
“The application for a pension had to be submitted by me to the Board of Health and I was required under the law to retire the officer when the Health Board certified that he was incapacitated,” Wilson said.
Birmingham asked Garrett, “Does your head bother you?” Garrett replied, “Yes.”
Birmingham then asked “Robert J. Allen,” a mysterious witness from Washington, DC, if he would produce witnesses to substantiate Sen. Joseph Mulhern’s charges about corruption in the Boston Police Department. “Yes,” he replied.