A-10196, JUNE 18, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 1047

A-10196: Jun 18, 1925

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THAT HER EXPENSES WERE BORNE BY THE COUNTY AND STATE EQUALLY. SUCH MOTHER IS NOT DEPENDENT ON HER OFFICER SON FOR MORE THAN ONE-HALF THE COST OF A REASONABLE LIVING. THE OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS. AS A RESULT OF CERTIFICATES MADE BY HIM THAT HIS MOTHER WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE COST OF A REASONABLE LIVING AND FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT. WAS AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO APRIL 6. WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR SUPPORT. THAT DURING THE PERIOD FOR WHICH HEAT AND LIGHT WERE CHARGED HE ACTUALLY MAINTAINED A PLACE OF ABODE FOR HER. CLAIMANT WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH IN SUPPORT OF SUCH PAYMENTS THE AFFIDAVIT OF HIS MOTHER. HE STATED HE WAS UNABLE TO FURNISH AN AFFIDAVIT FROM HIS MOTHER.

A-10196, JUNE 18, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 1047

COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS, HEAT, AND LIGHT - RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES - DEPENDENT MOTHER OF NAVAL OFFICER WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY CERTIFIED THAT HE HAD MAINTAINED TWO ROOMS AT A GIVEN ADDRESS AS QUARTERS FOR HIS MOTHER FROM OCTOBER 4, 1921, TO JUNE 30, 1923, AND IT HAS BEEN SUBSEQUENTLY ASCERTAINED THAT HIS MOTHER DID NOT RESIDE IN SUCH QUARTERS BUT HAD BEEN AN INMATE IN A STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE SINCE 1911, THAT HER EXPENSES WERE BORNE BY THE COUNTY AND STATE EQUALLY, THAT THE COUNTY AND STATE HAD BEEN REIMBURSED BY THE GUARDIAN OF THE MOTHER OUT OF A SUM RECEIVED FOR THE MOTHER AS A LEGACY, SUCH MOTHER IS NOT DEPENDENT ON HER OFFICER SON FOR MORE THAN ONE-HALF THE COST OF A REASONABLE LIVING, OR FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACTS OF APRIL 16, 1918, 40 STAT. 530, AND JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 627, AND THE OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS, HEAT, AND LIGHT, OR TO RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES, FOR A DEPENDENT MOTHER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JUNE 18, 1925:

BERNARD H. WOLTER HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. COL. 303, DATED JANUARY 29, 1924, CHARGING HIM WITH $951.71, BY REASON OF PAYMENTS MADE TO HIM FOR COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS, HEAT, AND LIGHT, AND RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES DURING THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 4, 1921, TO JUNE 30, 1923, TOTALING $1,315.19, LESS $363.48 CHECKED AGAINST HIS PAY, AS A RESULT OF CERTIFICATES MADE BY HIM THAT HIS MOTHER WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE COST OF A REASONABLE LIVING AND FOR HER CHIEF SUPPORT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACTS OF APRIL 16, 1918, 40 STAT. 530, AND JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 627.

THE OBTAINING OF PAYMENTS FOR COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS, HEAT, AND LIGHT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF APRIL 16, 1918, WAS AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO APRIL 6, 1922, UNDER DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, ON THE FAITH AND CREDIT OF CLAIMANT'S CERTIFICATE ATTACHED TO EACH PAY ACCOUNT SHOWING THAT HIS MOTHER, MRS. NORA WOLTER, WAS DEPENDENT UPON HIM FOR SUPPORT, AND THAT DURING THE PERIOD FOR WHICH HEAT AND LIGHT WERE CHARGED HE ACTUALLY MAINTAINED A PLACE OF ABODE FOR HER, AS QUARTERS, AT 1436 GRANT AVENUE, BETHLEHEM, PA. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRACTICE OF THIS OFFICE SUBSEQUENT TO APRIL 6, 1922, MADE ALSO APPLICABLE TO THE PAYMENTS OF RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, CLAIMANT WAS REQUESTED TO FURNISH IN SUPPORT OF SUCH PAYMENTS THE AFFIDAVIT OF HIS MOTHER.

ON OCTOBER 3, 1922, HE STATED HE WAS UNABLE TO FURNISH AN AFFIDAVIT FROM HIS MOTHER, AS SHE WAS TEMPORARILY INSANE AND COULD NOT, THEREFORE, LEGALLY MAKE A SWORN STATEMENT. IN LIEU THEREOF HE SUBMITTED THE AFFIDAVITS OF TWO DISINTERESTED PERSONS WHICH STATED GENERALLY THAT MRS. NORA WOLTER WAS THE WIDOW OF THE LATE REV. M. WOLTER, AND WAS DEPENDENT UPON HER SON, ENSIGN B. H. WOLTER, FOR SUPPORT. ON MAY 3, 1923, CLAIMANT SUBMITTED INFORMATION THAT HE HAD ONE BROTHER, AGE 23, WHO WAS ATTENDING SCHOOL AT CARNEGIE TECH, PITTSBURGH, UNDER THE FEDERAL VOCATIONAL TRAINING DEPARTMENT, AND ONE SISTER, AGE 25, WHO WAS A SCHOOL-TEACHER IN BETHLEHEM, PA., WHO DID NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR MOTHER'S SUPPORT. HE FURTHER STATED THAT HIS MOTHER'S AVERAGE LIVING EXPENSES WERE $50 PER MONTH, THAT SHE HAD NO REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY AND NO INCOME WHATEVER EXCEPT THE AMOUNT HE CONTRIBUTED MONTHLY TOWARD HER SUPPORT. ON JANUARY 6, 1923, HE AVERRED THAT HE CONTRIBUTED REGULARLY TOWARD HIS MOTHER'S SUPPORT THE SUM OF $50 PER MONTH, AND HE THEREAFTER STATED THAT DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1923, TO AUGUST 6, 1923, HE CONTRIBUTED THE SUM OF $80.

IT WAS THEREAFTER DEVELOPED THAT CLAIMANT'S MOTHER DID NOT LIVE IN THE TWO ROOMS ALLEGED BY HIM TO HAVE BEEN MAINTAINED FOR HER AT 1436 GRANT AVENUE, BETHLEHEM, PA., BUT THAT SHE WAS A PATIENT AT THE HOMEOPATHIC STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE AT ALLENTOWN, PA., HAVING BEEN ADMITTED TO THAT INSTITUTION OCTOBER 13, 1911, AND HAS BEEN CARED FOR THEREAT CONTINUOUSLY TO THE PRESENT TIME. IT WAS THEN URGED BY CLAIMANT THAT BESIDES MAINTAINING THE TWO ROOMS FOR HER AT HIS LEGAL SIDENCE,"TO WHICH SHE COULD HAVE GONE IF HER CONDITION WARRANTED IT AT THE TIME," HE PAID ALL HER EXPENSES AT THE HOSPITAL, CONSISTING OF HOSPITAL BILL, CLOTHING, NECESSARY MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, AS EYEGLASSES, TOILET ARTICLES, ETC., "WHICH IN AN INSTITUTION OF THIS KIND IS VERY HIGH.'

THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE HOSPITAL ADVISED THIS OFFICE MARCH 6, 1923, THAT MRS. WOLTER WAS MAINTAINED IN THE HOSPITAL ON THE DUAL SYSTEM, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA BEING CHARGED $3 PER WEEK AND NORTHAMPTON COUNTY A LIKE AMOUNT, AND IN CONNECTION WITH OTHER ALLEGED EXPENSES AT THE HOSPITAL THE SUPERINTENDENT FURTHER ADVISED BY LETTER OF JULY 10, 1923, AS FOLLOWS:

IN REPLY TO YOUR INQUIRY OF THE 5TH INSTANT, WE ARE ADVISING THAT $6.00PER WEEK COVERS THE ENTIRE COST OF MAINTENANCE OF MRS WOLTER, THERE BEING NO EXTRA CHARGES FOR MEDICAL SERVICES OR ANYTHING ELSE.

SOME CLOTHING HAS BEEN FURNISHED BY THE PATIENT'S SISTER, MISS C. OCKER, 41 N. 7TH AVENUE, BETHLEHEM, PA.

IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT THE PREMISES AT 1436 GRANT AVENUE, WHERE TWO ROOMS ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN MAINTAINED FOR MRS. WOLTER, WERE OWNED BY MISS C. OCKER, CLAIMANT'S AUNT, AND SAID BY HER TO HAVE BEEN OCCUPIED BY HERSELF AND NIECE DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION. THE FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS UNDER WHICH THE TWO ROOMS WERE MAINTAINED FOR CLAIMANT'S MOTHER WERE REQUESTED, BUT THE AMOUNT OF RENTAL PAID BY CLAIMANT HAS NOT BEEN STATED. MISS OCKER'S ADDRESS, AS FURNISHED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE HOSPITAL JULY 10, 1923, WAS 41 NORTH SEVENTH AVENUE, NOT 1436 GRANT AVENUE.

IT APPEARS THAT ARRANGEMENTS HAD BEEN MADE WHEREBY THE COUNTY SHARE OF MRS. WOLTER'S MAINTENANCE AT THE HOSPITAL WAS PAID BY THE POOR DIRECTORS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, AND THAT SUCH DIRECTORS WERE IN TURN REIMBURSED BY PAUL DE SCHWEINITZ, SECRETARY OF MISSIONS OF THE MORAVIAN CHURCH, BETHLEHEM, PA. RELATIVE TO THIS MATTER, HE STATED, MAY 24, 1923, AS FOLLOWS:

I SIMPLY ADVANCE THE MONEY FOR HER BILLS WHICH ARE SENT TO ME, FROM OUR GENERAL MISSION TREASURY, AND THEN I LOOK TO HIM (LIEUT. B. H. WOLTER) TO REIMBURSE THE MISSIONARY TREASURY AS BEST HE CAN.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, BUREAU OF MAINTENANCE AND COLLECTIONS, ADVISED THIS OFFICE JULY 19, 1923, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * IN REPLY WE WISH TO ADVISE YOU THAT MRS. NORA WOLTER, A PATIENT AT THE HOMEOPATHIC STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE AT ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA, SINCE 1913, HAS NEVER BEEN A REIMBURSING ONE, SO FAR AS THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA IS CONCERNED. DURING ALL OF THIS TIME SAID COMMONWEALTH HAS EXPENDED IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF $1,600 FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THIS PATIENT, AND IF THE SON, LIEUT. BERNHARD H. WOLTER, U.S.N., HAS EVER DONE ANYTHING IN THE WAY OF MAINTAINING HIS MOTHER DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME IT HAS ONLY BEEN BY PROBABLY REIMBURSING THE POOR DIRECTORS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, WHO PAY HALF OF THE GENERAL MAINTENANCE COST OF THE PATIENT.

HE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THE BETHLEHEM TRUST CO., OF BETHLEHEM, PA., HAD BEEN APPOINTED GUARDIAN OF NORA CLEMENTINE WOLTER, MOTHER OF CLAIMANT, FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING A LEGACY OF ABOUT $5,000 IN THE NATURE OF A BEQUEST CONTAINED IN THE WILL OF A DECEASED RELATIVE IN ENGLAND.

THE BETHLEHEM TRUST CO. ADVISED THIS OFFICE APRIL 20, 1925, THAT IT WAS APPOINTED GUARDIAN FOR MRS. WOLTER ON NOVEMBER 26, 1917, AND ON DECEMBER 21, 1922, IT RECEIVED A LEGACY FOR HER IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,955.36, AND THAT UNDER DATE OF MARCH 3, 1924, UNDER ORDER OF COURT, IT WAS INSTRUCTED TO PAY TO THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA THE SUM OF $1,504.14 TO REIMBURSE THE STATE FOR THE SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF MRS. WOLTER AT THE STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE DURING THE PERIOD FROM JULY 24, 1913, TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1923.

SINCE DECEMBER, 1922, THE COUNTY SHARE FOR THE SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF CLAIMANT'S MOTHER AT THE HOSPITAL HAS BEEN PAID BY HER GUARDIAN, THE BETHLEHEM TRUST CO.

ON JUNE 20, 1923, AFTER IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT CLAIMANT'S MOTHER WAS NOT OCCUPYING QUARTERS AS PURPORTED BY THE CERTIFICATES ATTACHED TO HIS PAY VOUCHERS, CLAIMANT REQUESTED THAT IF HIS CLAIM BE DISALLOWED HE BE PERMITTED TO REFUND THE AMOUNT OF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS IN QUARTERLY PAYMENTS OF $50. THE CLAIM WAS THEREAFTER DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT HE DID NOT CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF A REASONABLE LIVING WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACTS CITED, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA HAD BORNE ONE-HALF OF THE EXPENSES OF MAINTENANCE AT THE HOSPITAL. AGAIN ON OCTOBER 1, 1923, CLAIMANT STATED AS FOLLOWS:

* * * I AM UNABLE TO REIMBURSE THE UNITED STATES IN A LUMP SUM, AND RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT I BE PERMITTED TO REIMBURSE MONTHLY OR QUARTERLY AT THE RATE OF $25.00 PER MONTH. IN MY LETTER TO YOUR OFFICE ON JUNE 20TH, 1923, I REQUESTED TO BE PERMITTED TO MAKE QUARTERLY PAYMENTS IF CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED. THIS PLAN OF REIMBURSEMENT IS THE BEST I CAN DO, AS I HAVEN-T THE REQUIRED LUMP SUM, AND AFTER PAYING MY EXPENSES THE BEST I CAN DO IS $25.00 PER MONTH.

THE PRIVILEGE OF LIQUIDATING HIS INDEBTEDNESS DUE THE UNITED STATES BY MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS OF $25 EACH WAS ACCORDED CLAIMANT OCTOBER 18, 1923. THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY SUCH PAYMENTS HAVING BEEN MADE. HE, HOWEVER, ON MARCH 4, 1924, REQUESTED THAT THE MATTER AGAIN BE REVIEWED ON THE GROUND THAT HE WAS "MAKING DEFINITE ARRANGEMENTS TO PAY" THE STATE SHARE OF THE EXPENSES OF CARING FOR HIS MOTHER, WHICH HE EXPECTED TO HAVE PAID IN A SHORT TIME, AND AGAIN ON APRIL 9, 1924, HE STATED THAT HE WOULD ADVISE THIS OFFICE WHEN SUCH EXPENSES HAVE BEEN PAID, AND THIS NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACTS DIVULGED BY THE GUARDIAN, AS INDICATED, THAT THE STATE SHARE OF THESE EXPENSES HAD ALREADY BEEN PAID AND THAT THE COUNTY SHARE OF SUCH EXPENSES HAD LIKEWISE BEEN PAID BY HIM SINCE DECEMBER, 1922, WHICH INCLUDED THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1 TO AUGUST 6, 1923, DURING WHICH PERIOD CLAIMANT ALLEGED HE NECESSARILY CONTRIBUTED $80 FOR HIS MOTHER'S SUPPORT.

CLAIMANT'S RESIGNATION FROM THE NAVY WAS ACCEPTED, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 6, 1923, AND FROM INFORMATION ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE HE IS NOW EMPLOYED AS CLERK IN THE CITY TREASURER'S OFFICE AT NORFOLK, VA. ..END :