ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB016 (2007)

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ARLB016 FCC Designates Hearings on Three Amateur Radio Applications

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ARRL Bulletin 16  ARLB016
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 30, 2007
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB016
ARLB016 FCC Designates Hearings on Three Amateur Radio Applications

The FCC has issued hearing designation orders (HDOs) to Amateur
Radio license applicants in three unrelated cases. All three HDOs
released May 24 hinge on licensee "character" issues. The Commission
notified David O. Castle, WA9KJI, of Evansville, Indiana, that it
was designating his license renewal application for hearing in the
wake of alleged misconduct extending back several years and
continuing at least until earlier this year.

"Since 1998, Castle has been warned repeatedly to refrain from
intentionally interfering with radio communications; broadcasting
without communicating with any particular station; causing
interference on amateur repeaters; using amateur repeaters without
authorization, and using indecent, slanderous or harassing
language," the FCC said in the HDO it issued to Castle. "We find
that Castle's continuing course of conduct raises questions as to
whether he possesses the requisite character qualifications to
remain a Commission licensee."

In March, FCC Special Counsel in the Spectrum Enforcement Division
Riley Hollingsworth warned Castle to abide by a request to refrain
from using repeaters owned by the Tri-State Amateur Radio Society.

The FCC also designated for hearing two applications for new Amateur
Radio licenses. In the case of Frank C. Richards of Mooers, New
York, the Commission says the applicant apparently had attempted in
1995 to hijack the license of a Frank C. Richards, KB4VU, who lives
in Ft Myers, Florida. The New York Richards was initially
successful, and the FCC granted him KG2IC, but after the Florida
Richards contacted the FCC to say he'd never moved nor modified his
license, the FCC directed the New York Richards to explain. On June
2004, the New York Richards turned in his license. While the FCC did
not pursue further enforcement action then, it did tell the New York
Richards that the circumstances of the apparent abuse of the license
system could become a factor if he ever applied for an Amateur Radio
ticket in the future.

The New York Richards applied for a Technician license last June 28,
and accompanied his application with a letter. The FCC Enforcement
Bureau said it was unable to determine whether the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau should grant the application, however, so
it now has been designated for a hearing.

"The Commission and the courts have recognized that 'the FCC relies
on the honesty and probity of its licensees in a regulatory system
that is largely self-policing,'" the FCC said in the HDO.

"The attempt of Frank Richards (NY) to change the address and other
information for call sign KB4VU, and his subsequent cancellation of
the license in lieu of responding to EB's inquiries regarding the
renewal/modification application raise substantial and material
questions of fact as to whether he made false certifications,
misrepresented the facts to the Commission, and/or demonstrated a
lack of candor in order to claim the identity and operating
privileges of Frank Richards (FL)," the FCC said.

In a third case, the FCC has designated for hearing the new Amateur
Radio license application of Jack R. Sharples of Florida. In its
HDO, the FCC identified Sharples as "a convicted felon and
registered sexual predator."

"Sharples's felony conviction for at least one sexual-related
offense involving children raises material and substantial questions
as to whether he possesses the requisite character qualifications to
be a Commission licensee," the FCC said. "Although Sharples's felony
adjudications occurred more than seven years ago, the nature of the
criminal misconduct and the fact that the Amateur Radio Service is
particularly attractive to children call into serious question
whether he should be permitted to obtain an Amateur Radio
authorization."

Castle, Richards and Sharples have 20 days to file a "written
appearance" with the Commission. Failing to do so would lead to
dismissal of the pending application.
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