Mr. Ridgely's administration of the Comptroller's office was not characterized by any spectacular, sensational, or demagogic methods. His policy was to require the banks to observe the law and to enforce such observance by every lawful means within his power. He respected the law himself and did not exceed his statutory authority in dealing with the banks by an arbitrary assumption of powers which the law did not confer upon him. Neither did he seek to evade responsibility or criticism by throwing the blame upon the examiner when the examiner was not at fault. He invariably supported the examiner in his efforts to honestly and courageously perform his duty, and the examiners who served under him were confident that they would receive such support no matter what influences might operate against them. He applied the same rules of supervision and construction of the law to all banks alike, large and small, without distinction and without fear or favor. He recognized the defects in the statutes, so far as enforcible remedies were concerned, but did not arrogate to himself legislative powers by the adoption of unauthorized administrative regulations. He administered the law as he found it on the statute books and not as he thought it should be. Its defects he recognized and pointed out to Congress and suggested the remedies, as the law requires the Comptroller to do in his annual report to that body, and until such remedies were supplied by legislative enactment he was content in the consciousness of having performed his duty, regardless of criticism, confident that any investigation of his official course would sustain him and place the responsibility where it belonged.
An investigation of Mr. Ridgely's course of action in connection with the Farmers and Drovers National Bank of Waynes-burg, or any other failed bank during his administration of the Comptroller's office, will show no just grounds for criticism.
Rinehart, the cashier of this bank, who was responsible for the wrecking of the institution, was indicted, convicted and sentenced to a term of twelve years in the penitentiary, but only partially paid the penalty for his crime. He was pardoned by a too merciful President before serving out his term.
The losses on assets sold and compounded under order of the court amounted to $1,356,281.90. The stockholders were assessed one hundred per cent. on their stock holdings, of which amount $149,271 was collected. The creditors have received dividends aggregating sixty per cent. of their claims, amounting to $1,050,121.