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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
ROGER THOMAS SCAGGS ) EB Docket No. 03-241
) File No. EB-02-IH-0886
Advanced Class Amateur Radio )
Operator and Licensee of )
Amateur Radio Station W5EBC
ORDER OF REVOCATION
Adopted: April 22, 2004 Released: April 23, 2004
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. By this Order of Revocation, acting pursuant to
authority delegated to the Enforcement Bureau under section
0.111(a)(16) of the Commission's rules,1 we revoke the above-
captioned Amateur license held by Roger Thomas Scaggs. We
conclude, based on the evidence of his conviction for murder,
that Mr. Scaggs lacks the basic requisite character
qualifications to be and remain a Commission licensee.
2. On November 21, 2003, the Commission, by the Chief,
Enforcement Bureau, designated this case for hearing.2 The OSC
specified the following issues:
(a) to determine the effect of Roger Thomas Scaggs'
felony conviction on his qualifications to be and to
remain a Commission licensee; and
(b) to determine, in light of the evidence adduced
pursuant to the foregoing issue, whether Roger
Thomas Scaggs is qualified to be and to remain a
Commission licensee and whether his Amateur Radio
Advanced Class License W5EBC be should revoked.
3. The OSC ordered Mr. Scaggs, pursuant to section 1.91(c)
of the Commission's rules,3 within thirty days of the date of
release of the OSC (i.e., by December 22, 2003), in person or by
his attorney, to file a written notice of appearance in order to
avail himself of the opportunity to be heard.4 The OSC provided
that the notice of appearance state that Mr. Scaggs would appear
on the date fixed for the hearing and present evidence on the
specified issues.5 The OSC informed Mr. Scaggs that, if he
failed to so file a written notice of appearance, his right to a
hearing on the matter of his amateur license would be deemed
waived, and the proceeding would be resolved thereafter in
accordance with section 1.92(c) of the Commission's rules.6
4. The Presiding Judge determined that Mr. Scaggs had
received a copy of the OSC but had failed to file a written
notice of appearance seeking to avail himself of the opportunity
to be heard.7 Accordingly, the Presiding Judge concluded that
Mr. Scaggs had waived his right to a hearing, and the Presiding
Judge terminated the proceeding and certified the case to the
Commission for disposition in accordance with section 1.92(c) of
the Commission's rules.8 The Commission has delegated authority
to the Enforcement Bureau for such revocation proceedings,
terminated on the basis of waiver, pursuant to section
0.111(a)(16) of the Commission's rules.9
5. Mr. Scaggs has held an amateur license since 1954. The
Commission's records do not reveal any violations by him of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the ``Act''),10 or the
Commission's rules. However, on November 16, 1998, approximately
six months after the Commission's last renewal of his captioned
amateur radio license,11 Mr. Scaggs was convicted for the March
6, 1996, homicide of Penny Scaggs, his wife of thirty-five
years.12 The record in that case showed that Mr. Scaggs beat his
wife to death with a galvanized lead pipe and then stabbed her
several times in their home.13 Mr. Scaggs was convicted of
murder by a jury and sentenced by the same jury to a prison term
of thirty-two years and fined ten thousand dollars
($10,000.00).14 Mr. Scaggs' conviction was affirmed, and his
request for rehearing overruled on June 22, 2000.15 Mr. Scaggs
reports that he is pursuing post-conviction relief in the United
States District Court.16
6. Section 312(a)(2) of the Act provides that the
Commission may revoke any license ``because of conditions coming
to the attention of the Commission which would warrant it in
refusing to grant a license or permit on an original
application.''17 Among the factors that the Commission considers
in determining whether the applicant has the requisite
qualifications to operate the station for which authority is
sought is the character of the licensee or applicant.18 In
making character assessments, the Commission focuses on
misconduct that demonstrates the licensee's or applicant's
proclivity to deal truthfully with the Commission and to comply
with its rules and policies.19 The Commission has consistently
applied character standards developed for broadcasters to
applicants and licensees in the amateur radio service.20
7. The Commission considers relevant ``evidence of any
conviction for misconduct constituting a felony.''21 The
Commission believes that ``[b]ecause all felonies are serious
crimes, any conviction provides an indication of an applicant's
or licensee's propensity to obey the law'' and to conform to
provisions of both the Act and the agency's rules and policies.22
In this case, Mr. Scaggs has been convicted of a most serious
felony - in this case the brutal murder of his wife of thirty-
five years.23 We find that such egregious criminal misconduct
justifies a finding that Mr. Scaggs will obey the law only when
it suits him.24 Mr. Scaggs' record as an amateur licensee and
the assertions of Mr. Shifrin, Mr. Scaggs' sole character
witness, who, notably, did not address Mr. Scaggs' criminal
conviction or any of the related circumstances, are not
sufficient to overcome the impact of Mr. Scaggs' crime.25 Thus,
we find that Mr. Scaggs does not possess the character
qualifications required by this Commission to be or remain a
C. License Revocation
8. The Commission's character policies26 provide that any
felony conviction is a matter predictive of licensee behavior and
is directly relevant to the functioning of the Commission's
regulatory mission. The extremely serious conviction described
above mandates the conclusion that Mr. Scaggs does not possess
the requisite qualifications to be or remain a Commission
licensee. Based on the foregoing, we conclude, as a matter of
law, that Mr. Scaggs' above-captioned license should be revoked.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to section 312 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,27 and sections
1.92(d) and 0.111(a)(16) of the Commission's rules,28 that the
captioned amateur license held by Roger Thomas Scaggs IS REVOKED,
effective the fortieth (40th) day after release of this Order,
unless Mr. Scaggs files a petition for reconsideration or
application for review within thirty (30) days of the release of
this Order, in which case the effective date will be suspended,
pending further Order of the Commission.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this ORDER OF
REVOCATION shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Roger Thomas Scaggs, RR 2 Box 4400, Gatesville,
Texas 76597, with a copy to Charles R. Burton, Esq., Minton,
Burton, Foster & Collins, 1100 Guadalupe Street, Austin, Texas
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 0.111(a)(16).
2 Order to Show Cause, 18 FCC Rcd 24367 (Enf. Bur. 2003)
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.91(c).
4 OSC, 18 FCC Rcd at 24369, ¶ 7.
6 Id., ¶ 8. See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.92(c). Section 1.92(c)
provides that, whenever a hearing is waived, the presiding
administrative law judge shall, at the earliest practicable date,
issue an order reciting the events or circumstances constituting
a waiver of hearing, terminating the hearing proceeding, and
certifying the case to the Commission. See also 47 C.F.R. §
7 Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 04M-03, released January 26,
2004. Therein, the Presiding Judge noted that Mr. Scaggs had
sent a letter to the Chief, Enforcement Bureau, in which he
argued that his record as a licensee did not warrant revocation
of his license in light of existing precedent. Letter from Roger
Thomas Scaggs to David H. Solomon, Chief, Enforcement Bureau, FCC
(Dec. 19, 2003) (``Scaggs Letter''). The Presiding Judge
determined that the Scaggs letter did not qualify as a notice of
appearance, as Mr. Scaggs stated therein that he could not appear
for the hearing because of his incarceration. The Presiding
Judge deemed Mr. Scaggs' incarceration as ``not of controlling
significance'' as to whether he or his attorney could have
appeared at the hearing. MO&O, at 1, n. 2.
8 Id., p. 2. See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.92(c).
9 47 C.F.R. § 0.111(a)(16).
10 47 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.
11 On May 28, 1998, the Commission granted Mr. Scaggs'
Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur,
Restricted and Commercial Operator, and the General Mobile Radio
Services (FCC Form 605), File No. 9504030452 (dated May 22, 1995)
and issued him the above-captioned amateur authorization.
12 See State of Texas v. Scaggs, No. 963026 (299th Judicial
District of Travis County, Texas, February 5, 1999)
(unpublished); see also Texas Penal Code § 19.02(b)(1). As
stated in the OSC, ``[t]he fact of Mr. Scaggs' felony conviction
is res judicata and will not be retried in this hearing.'' OSC,
18 FCC Rcd at 23468, n. 13.
13 See State of Texas v. Scaggs, 18 S.W. 3d 277 (Ct. App. Texas,
16 Scaggs Letter, supra note 7. Mr. Scaggs also submits a letter
from Mr. Ken Shifrin, who identifies himself as Chairman of the
Board of American Physicians Service Group, Inc. Letter from Ken
Shifrin to FCC (Dec. 10, 2003). Mr. Shifrin declares under
penalty of perjury that he has known Mr. Scaggs since 1985 and
that Mr. Scaggs ``has always demonstrated a great deal of honesty
and integrity.'' Id.
17 47 U.S.C. § 312(a)(2).
18 47 U.S.C. § 308(b).
19 Policy Regarding Character Qualifications in Broadcast
Licensing, 102 FCC 2d 1179, 1190-91 (1986) (subsequent history
omitted) (``Character Policy Statement'').
20 See, e.g., Schoenbohm v. FCC, 204 F.3d 243, 246-49 (D.C. Cir.
2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 968 (2000) (affirming the
Commission's denial of an amateur radio operator's license
renewal application based on the licensee's felony conviction for
computer fraud, as well as his lack of candor regarding such
conviction); George E. Rodgers, Hearing Designation Order, 10 FCC
Rcd 3978 (WTB 1995) (finding that an amateur radio licensee's
felony conviction for indecent assault upon and corruption of
minors raised a material question of fact regarding his character
and qualifications to remain a Commission licensee); Thomas M.
Haynie, Order to Show Cause and Suspension Order, 7 FCC Rcd 4994
(FOB 1992), affirmed and licenses revoked, 7 FCC Rcd 7291 (PRB
1992) (revoking general radiotelephone operator, amateur advanced
class radio and amateur radio station licenses because of the
licensee's felony conviction for intentional interference with
satellite communications); Jerry E. Gastil, Order to Show Cause,
4 FCC Rcd 3977 (PRB, FOB 1989) (finding that a general radio
operator and amateur radio licensee's felony conviction for
interfering with governmental radio communications raised serious
questions regarding his character and qualifications to remain a
21 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 (1990) (``1990 Character Order'')
(subsequent history omitted).
23 State of Texas v. Scaggs, supra note 13, 18 S.W. 3d at 281.
24 See Contemporary Media, Inc., 13 FCC Rcd 14437, 14442, ¶ 11
(1998), recon. denied, 14 FCC Rcd 8790 (1999), aff'd Contemporary
Media, Inc., v. FCC, 214 F.3d 187 (D.C. Cir. 2000), cert. denied,
532 U.S. 920 (2001).
25 Id., 13 FCC Rcd at 14445, ¶ 15.
26 Character Policy Statement, supra note 19; 1990 Character
Order, supra note 21.
27 47 U.S.C. § 312.
28 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.92(d) and 0.111(a)(16).