The state's 1941 investigation into Lease 340

Deep in the tens of thousands of pages of documents we've reviewed over the past two years, is a 1941 memo from Edward Gay, Jr.  Apparently, he worked for the state's Attorney General and was assigned the task of looking at State Lease 340.

One of the most significant points Gay makes in his report involves the paperwork submitted by W.T. Burton to secure the lease.  It appears one reason the state was able to award Burton the deal is a provision he included in his bid that would give the state $500,000, once oil was produced.

But take a look at what Gay wrote in his report:

Gay alleges Burton inserted that important provision after he submitted his bid.  If you examine the document itself, you can see that the majority of Burton's bid is set in one typeface:

But the additional page – the one that shows Burton would pay the $500,000 – is set in another typeface:

Regardless, Gay writes the bid submitted by Gulf Refining Company may be the better deal for the state:

Still, Governor James Noe awarded State Lease 340 to W.T. Burton.

Days later, Burton assigned a large portion of that lease to The Texas Company.  That is where Gay brings up another important point:

If The Texas Company was interested in this lease, why didn't they bid on it?  Why did they agree to the Burton assignment days after?

Burton assigned another portion of the lease to Win or Lose.  Gay points out that Win or Lose paid little:

But Gay's report really focuses on the deal with Burton – and whether the state secured the best deal for State Lease 340:

In the state's files, we never found any other follow-up document to Gay's report.