FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is guilty of “deception and distrust,” the House Committee on Energy and Commerce concluded in a year-long investigation released today.
“There are instances in which the Chairman manipulated, withheld, or suppressed data, reports and information… with the purpose of affecting congressional decision-making,” report authors John Dingell and Bart Stupak, both Democrats from Michigan, wrote.
Also, FCC matters were not treated openly and transparently; the FCC failed to carry out important responsibilities; and Martin alienated other commissioners, the 110-page report states. Martin is also accused of retaliating against FCC employees who disagreed with his policies and cites 22 exhibits of evidence.
The report also states that T-Mobile USA may have received a favor from Martin, who reduced a do-not-call fine against the wireless carrier from $1.3 million to just $100,000. Martin’s intervention was “highly unusual” and “a mystery,” the report states.
Prior to the report’s disclosure, T-Mobile itself has questioned whether the FCC under Martin’s watch unfairly designed the upcoming AWS-3 auction to benefit mobile WiMAX specialist M2Z Networks. The startup is run by former FCC official John Muleta, although he nor his company is accused of any wrongdoing.
“We are reviewing the report. It appears that the Committee did not find or conclude that there were any violations of rules, laws or procedures following a year-long investigation. Chairman Martin has followed the same procedures that have been followed for the past 20 years by FCC Chairmen, both Democratic and Republican alike,” FCC spokesman Robert Kenny said.
Kenny also said the FCC fully cooperated with investigators and he defended the report’s claim that Martin spent too much on services for deaf people.
Filed Under: Industry regulations