A-57405, OCTOBER 10, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 300

A-57405: Oct 10, 1934

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WERE SHOT BY GOVERNMENT OFFICERS. THE COST OF PRIVATE MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT FURNISHED THE PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS IS NOT A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST GOVERNMENT FUNDS. IF THE INJURED PERSONS WERE NOT ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH A CRIME AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE RECEIVED A MEMORANDUM FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION READING AS FOLLOWS: "IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE SECURED RELATIVE TO WHETHER THIS DIVISION MAY PAY FOR HOSPITALIZATION EXPENSES IN CASES SUCH AS THE ONE CITED BELOW: "AT THE TIME JOHN DILLINGER WAS APPREHENDED. ONE MISS ETTA NATALSKY WAS WOUNDED BY ONE OF THE SHOTS FIRED BY A DIVISION AGENT. IT WAS NECESSARY TO REMOVE MISS NATALSKY TO THE COLUMBUS HOSPITAL.

A-57405, OCTOBER 10, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 300

MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT - PRIVATE PARTIES WHERE, INCIDENTAL TO THE APPREHENSION OF A KNOWN CRIMINAL, SEVERAL PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, NOT IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, WERE SHOT BY GOVERNMENT OFFICERS, THE COST OF PRIVATE MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL TREATMENT FURNISHED THE PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS IS NOT A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST GOVERNMENT FUNDS, IF THE INJURED PERSONS WERE NOT ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH A CRIME AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, OCTOBER 10, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 24, 1934, JWG-CES, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE RECEIVED A MEMORANDUM FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION READING AS FOLLOWS:

"IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE SECURED RELATIVE TO WHETHER THIS DIVISION MAY PAY FOR HOSPITALIZATION EXPENSES IN CASES SUCH AS THE ONE CITED BELOW:

"AT THE TIME JOHN DILLINGER WAS APPREHENDED, ONE MISS ETTA NATALSKY WAS WOUNDED BY ONE OF THE SHOTS FIRED BY A DIVISION AGENT. IT WAS NECESSARY TO REMOVE MISS NATALSKY TO THE COLUMBUS HOSPITAL, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, FOR TREATMENT. SINCE THE NIGHT OF THE SHOOTING SHE HAS BEEN CONFINED TO THIS HOSPITAL, HER HOSPITALIZATION COSTING $8 PER DAY. AT THE PRESENT TIME HER ATTENDING PHYSICIAN STATES THAT SHE MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE HOSPITAL ONLY IN THE EVENT THAT A MAID OR HOUSEKEEPER BE SECURED TO TAKE CARE OF HER. THE EXPENSE OF TREATING MISS NATALSKY AT HER HOME WILL, OF COURSE, BE LESS THAN THE EXPENSE ENTAILED BY HOSPITALIZATION.

"IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE EXPENSES COVERING THE HOSPITALIZATION OF MISS NATALSKY SHOULD BE BORNE BY THE DIVISION AND BE CHARGEABLE TO THE DIVISION'S APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES FOR THE YEAR 1935. I AM IN ERROR IN THIS BELIEF, I WILL APPRECIATE ADVICE AS TO THE PROPER METHOD OF REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS EXPENSE.'

THE DEPARTMENT HAS ALSO RECEIVED THREE VOUCHERS FOR PAYMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION," WHICH ARE ENCLOSED HEREWITH, AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

GRAND VIEW HOSPITAL, IRONWOOD, MICHIGAN ------------------- $324.05

DR. A. J. O-BRIEN, ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA -------------------- 86.00

DR. A. J. O-BRIEN, ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA -------------------- 215.00

THESE VOUCHERS ARE FOR SERVICES RENDERED TO JOHN MORRIS AND JOHN HOFFMAN, WHO WERE WOUNDED ON APRIL 22, 1934, AT THE TIME OF THE RAID OF THE LITTLE BOHEMIA LODGE, IN CONNECTION WITH THE INVESTIGATION LEADING TO THE APPREHENSION OF JOHN DILLINGER.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION MENTIONED FOR HOSPITALIZATION, MEDICAL SERVICES, ETC., FOR MISS ETTA NATALSKY, MR. JOHN MORRIS, AND MR. JOHN HOFFMAN, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OUTLINED ABOVE. NONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY OF GOVERNMENT OFFICERS, NOR COULD CHARGES BE BROUGHT AGAINST ANY OF THEM.

THE NECESSARY EXPENSE OF MEDICAL OR SURGICAL TREATMENT OF PERSONS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED BY OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES AND ARE HELD AS PRISONERS OF THE UNITED STATES IS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE ARREST WHICH, IF INCURRED UNDER PROPER CONDITIONS AND WITH DUE AUTHORITY, IS A LAWFUL CHARGE AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. SEE 2 COMP. GEN. 804. THERE IS, HOWEVER, NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES WHERE THE INJURIES WERE CAUSED BY A GOVERNMENT OFFICER AND THE INJURED PERSON HAS NOT BEEN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH A CRIME AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.

THE APPROPRIATIONS SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WITH THESE EXPENSES AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE DETECTION AND PROSECUTION OF CRIMES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, BUT THEY DO NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF MEDICAL TREATMENT AND HOSPITALIZATION FURNISHED TO PERSONS NOT IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INJURED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION WHERE THE INJURED PERSONS WERE NOT ARRESTED. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.