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                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554


                                                )                            
                                                                             
     In the Matter of                           )                            
                                                                             
     WILLIAM F. CROWELL                         )   WT Docket No. 08-20      
                                                                             
     Application to Renew License for Amateur   )   FCC File No. 0002928684  
     Radio Service Station W6WBJ                                             
                                                )                            
                                                                             
                                                )                            


                           HEARING DESIGNATION ORDER

   Adopted:  February 12, 2008 Released: February 12, 2008 

   By the Deputy Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications
   Bureau:

   I. introduction

    1. By this Hearing Designation Order, we commence a hearing proceeding
       before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to determine whether the
       above-captioned application filed by William F. Crowell (Crowell) for
       renewal of his license for Amateur Radio Station W6WBJ should be
       granted. As discussed below, the record before us indicates that
       Crowell has apparently willfully and repeatedly engaged in and
       continues to engage in unlawful Commission-related activities,
       including, but not limited to, intentionally causing interference
       and/or interruption, transmitting music and one-way communications,
       and using indecent language on amateur frequencies. Based on the
       information before us, we believe that Crowell's apparent past and
       continuing course of misconduct raises a substantial and material
       question of fact as to whether he possesses the requisite character
       qualifications to be and remain a Commission licensee. Accordingly, we
       hereby designate his application for hearing.

   II. Background

    2. Crowell is the licensee of Amateur Radio Service Station W6WBJ. He
       filed the above-captioned application for renewal of license for
       Station W6WBJ on February 28, 2007.

    3. On August 21, 2000, the Commission's Enforcement Bureau informed
       Crowell that monitoring information indicated that he had engaged in
       deliberate interference to radio communications in progress on the
       75-meter band over the preceding several months in violation of
       Section 97.1 of the Commission's Rules. Pursuant to Section 308(b) of
       the Commission's Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), Crowell was
       directed to respond to the letter and specify what actions he had
       taken to avoid causing similar interference in the future. On August
       31, 2000, Crowell responded. The Enforcement Bureau found Crowell's
       response to be irrelevant and frivolous and issued a Warning Notice on
       November 28, 2000, cautioning Crowell that "imaginary, make-believe or
       fictitious conversation with communications in process constitutes
       interference and degrades the services for legitimate users."

    4. The Commission received additional complaints regarding Crowell
       between 2003 and 2006. These complaints alleged, among other things,
       that Crowell deliberately interfered with and/or interrupted ongoing
       radio communications. On May 15, 2006, the Enforcement Bureau directed
       Crowell to respond to the complaints. On June 10, 2006, Crowell
       submitted a lengthy response wherein he disputed the Commission's
       constitutional authority to regulate the content of amateur radio
       communications and specifically denied that the complained-of
       communications violated any Commission rules. Based on its review of
       Crowell's response, the Enforcement Bureau concluded that the issue of
       whether Crowell's license should be renewed for a full term should be
       designated for hearing before an ALJ.

    5. The Commission continued to receive complaints alleging that Crowell
       was intentionally causing interference and/or otherwise interrupting
       radio communications, transmitting music and one-way communications,
       and using indecent language on amateur radio frequencies. On April 3,
       2007, the Enforcement Bureau informed Crowell that the issue of
       whether his renewal application should be granted had been "referred
       to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for review based upon
       continuing complaints of deliberate interference, including repeated
       interruptions of ongoing communications and other complaints regarding
       character qualifications," and that the complaints were being
       reviewed.

   III. discussion

    6. Pursuant to Section 309(e) of the Act, the Commission is required to
       designate an application for evidentiary hearing if a substantial and
       material question of fact is presented regarding whether grant of the
       application would serve the public interest, convenience, and
       necessity. The character of an applicant is among those factors that
       the Commission considers in determining whether the applicant has the
       requisite qualifications to be a Commission licensee. Violations of
       the Communications Act and/or the Commission's Rules are predictive of
       licensee behavior and directly relevant to the Commission's regulatory
       activities. The Character Policy Statement is applicable to amateur
       and other wireless radio licensees.

    7. Section 333 of the Act and Section 97.101(d) of the Commission's Rules
       provide that no person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with
       or cause interference to any radio communications of licensed
       stations. Section 97.113(a)(4) and (b) of the Commission's Rules
       specifically prohibits transmission of music, obscene or indecent
       words, and one-way communications on amateur frequencies. Section
       97.113(a)(4) of the Commission's Rules and Section 1464 of the
       Criminal Code also prohibit transmission of obscene, indecent, or
       profane language.

    8. Since 2000, Crowell has been warned to refrain from intentionally
       interfering with and/or otherwise interrupting radio communications,
       transmitting one-way communications and music, and using indecent
       language on the air. Notwithstanding these warnings, the evidence
       before us indicates that Crowell has and continues to engage in such
       activities in flagrant and intentional disregard of the Act and the
       Commission's Rules.

    9. We find that Crowell's apparent past and continuing course of conduct
       raises questions as to whether he possesses the requisite character
       qualifications to remain a Commission licensee. Crowell's history of
       FCC-related transgressions and apparent contempt for the Commission's
       regulatory authority are patently inconsistent with his
       responsibilities as a licensee and belie any suggestion that he can be
       relied upon to comply with the Commission's rules and policies in the
       future. Consequently, we will commence a hearing proceeding before an
       administrative law judge to provide Crowell with an opportunity to
       demonstrate whether his above-captioned application should be granted.

   IV. ordering clauses

   10. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections 4(i) and 309(e)
       of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. S:S: 154(i),
       309(e), the above-captioned application IS DESIGNATED FOR HEARING in a
       proceeding before an FCC Administrative Law Judge, at a time and place
       to be specified in a subsequent Order, upon the following issues:

    a. To determine whether William F. Crowell willfully and/or repeatedly
       violated Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
       and Section 97.101(d) of the Commission's Rules, by intentionally
       interfering with and/or otherwise interrupting radio communications;

    b. To determine whether William F. Crowell willfully and/or repeatedly
       violated Section 97.113(b) of the Commission's Rules by transmitting
       one-way communications on amateur frequencies;

    c. To determine whether William F. Crowell willfully and/or repeatedly
       violated Section 97.113(a)(4) of the Commission's Rules by
       transmitting indecent language;

    d. To determine whether William F. Crowell willfully and/or repeatedly
       violated Section 97.113(a)(4) of the Commission's Rules by
       transmitting music;

    e. To determine, in light of the evidence adduced pursuant to the
       foregoing issues, whether William F. Crowell is qualified to be and
       remain a Commission licensee; and,

    f. To determine, in light of the evidence adduced pursuant to the
       foregoing issues, whether the captioned application filed by William
       F. Crowell should be granted.

   11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the
       Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. S: 154(i), and
       Section 1.221(c) of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 1.221(c), in
       order to avail himself of the opportunity to be heard, William F.
       Crowell, in person or by his attorney, SHALL FILE with the Commission,
       within twenty (20) calendar days of the mailing of this Hearing
       Designation Order to him, a written appearance stating that he will
       appear on the date fixed for hearing and present evidence on the
       issues specified herein.

   12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.221(c) of the
       Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 1.221(c), if William F. Crowell fails
       to file a written appearance within the twenty-day period, or has not
       filed prior to the expiration of the twenty-day period, a petition to
       dismiss without prejudice, or a petition to accept, for good cause
       shown, a written appearance beyond the expiration of the twenty-day
       period, the Presiding Administrative Law Judge SHALL DISMISS the
       captioned application with prejudice for failure to prosecute.

   13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Chief, Enforcement Bureau, shall be
       made a party to this proceeding without the need to file a written
       appearance.

   14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections 4(i) and 309(e) of
       the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. S:S: 154(i),
       309(e), the burden of proceeding with the introduction of evidence and
       the burden of proof with respect to all of the issues specified above
       SHALL BE on William F. Crowell.

   15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Hearing Designation Order or
       a summary thereof SHALL BE PUBLISHED in the Federal Register.

   16. This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections
       0.131 and 0.331 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.131,
       0.331.

   FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

   Scot Stone

   Deputy Chief, Mobility Division

   Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

   Crowell's call sign was formerly N6AYJ. The license expiration date for
   Station N6AYJ was March 12, 2007. On January 24, 2006, Crowell applied for
   and, on April 11, 2006, was granted Vanity Call Sign W6WBJ to replace
   N6AYJ. See FCC File No. 0002458307. While grant of a vanity call sign
   ordinarily results in a new ten-year license term, the March 12, 2007
   expiration date for Crowell's license was not extended because of various
   complaints involving Station N6AYJ. See Letter dated May 15, 2006 from W.
   Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel, Enforcement Bureau to William F.
   Crowell (May 15, 2006 Letter).

   FCC File No. 0002928684.

   See Letter dated August 21, 2000 from W. Riley Hollingsworth, Special
   Counsel, Enforcement Bureau to William F. Crowell (August 21, 2000
   Letter).

   47 C.F.R. S: 97.1; see also 47 C.F.R. S: 97.101(d).

   47 U.S.C. S: 308(b).

   See August 21, 2000 Letter at 1.

   Letter dated November 28, 2000 from W. Riley Hollingsworth, Special
   Counsel, Enforcement Bureau to William F. Crowell.

   See May 15, 2006 Letter at 1.

   See Letter dated June 10, 2006 from William F. Crowell to W. Riley
   Hollingsworth, Special Counsel, Enforcement Bureau (June 10, 2006 Letter).

   See supra note 1.

   See Letter dated September 20, 2006 from W. Riley Hollingsworth, Special
   Counsel, Enforcement Bureau to William F. Crowell.

   See Letter dated April 3, 2007 from W. Riley Hollingsworth, Special
   Counsel, Enforcement Bureau to William F. Crowell.

   47 U.S.C. S: 309(e).

   See 47 U.S.C. S: 308(b); see also Policy Regarding Character
   Qualifications in Broadcast Licensing, Amendment of Part 1, the Rules of
   Practice and Procedure, Relating to Written Responses to Commission
   Inquiries and the Making of Misrepresentation to the Commission by
   Applicants, Permittees, and Licensees, and the Reporting of Information
   Regarding Character Qualifications, Policy Statement and Order, 5 FCC Rcd
   3252, 3252 (1990) (Character Policy Statement), recon. on other grounds, 6
   FCC Rcd 3448 (1991), modified on other grounds, 7 FCC Rcd 6564 (1992).

   See Leslie D. Brewer, Order To Show Cause, Notice of Order of Suspension,
   Notice of Opportunity for Hearing, and Notice of Apparent Liability for a
   Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 5671, 5674 P: 12 (2001).

   See id.

   47 U.S.C. S: 333; 47 C.F.R. S: 97.101(d).

   47 C.F.R. S: 97.113(a)(4), (b).

   47 C.F.R. S: 97.113(a)(4); 18 U.S.C. S: 1464.

   (...continued from previous page)

                                                              (continued....)

   Federal Communications Commission DA 08-361

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   Federal Communications Commission DA 08-361