Jet Fuel Appeals FCC Cancellation Of Anchorage AM Permit
October 6, 2010 at 4:57 AM (PT)
DAVE GAREY's JET FUEL BROADCASTING has filed its appeal of the FCC's cancellation of the construction permit for a new AM at ANCHORAGE, AK and is also asking to be allowed to make an oral argument before adjudication. The Commission previously rejected GAREY's contention that financial difficulties caused by FCC penalties for withdrawing bids in an auction justified tolling the permit.
GAREY tells ALL ACCESS that the "particularly dirty FCC ruling" overlooked his contention that the financial difficulties cited in the ruling "were the result of an illegal due process violation committed by the FCC itself -- when it made me a federal debtor for over rwo-and-a-half years before ever adjudicating our appeal against such a punishment -- connected to an innocent withdrawal from the FCC’s 2004 FM spectrum auction." He says that the Commission's "breach in process made it impossible for us to build the station during the originally assigned time." The Commission, GAREY contends, made a mistake that it has yet to correct, instead "cover(ing) up" the error and "blackball(ing) and punish(ing)" his company for complaining.
GAREY's company was hit with a fine and penalties for withdrawing from FM Auction 37 when "pricing levels became too excessive," the appeal says. The fine included $17.138 in an immediate penalty plus the pricing difference between the two auctions when the frequency was re-auctioned (ultimately, a total of over $108,000). JET FUEL appealed but the Commission imposed Federal Debtor status on JET FUEL while the appeal remained pending. While GAREY says that then-Chairman KEVIN MARTIN agreed to remove the debtor label and return at least half the initial penalty, the FCC staff never implemented his decision.
The Commission ultimately returned half the $17,138 fine and left a zero balance but did not remove the Federal Debtor label, instead canceling JET FUEL's ANCHORAGE permit less than four months later. GAREY says that the Federal Debtor status made getting credit to build the ANCHORAGE station difficult.
"This case also begs the question of why there is no requirement that all parties with matters before the Commission have equal conference access to the decision-makers, as opposed to only those with the right level of influence," GAREY adds. "(T)he FCC’s handling of this case is an outrage."