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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Marion R. Williams )
Licensee of AM Broadcast Station WONG ) File No.: EB-03-OR-
In Canton, Mississippi ) NAL/Acct. No.
Gary, Indiana )
Adopted: August 5, 2004 Released:
August 9, 2004
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order") we issue a monetary
forfeiture in the amount of nine thousand, two hundred
dollars ($9,200) to Marion R. Williams (``Williams''),
licensee of AM broadcast Station WONG, Canton,
Mississippi, for willful violation of Sections 73.49
and 73.3526(c)(1) of the Commission's Rules
(``Rules'').1 The noted violations involved Williams's
failure to enclose the station's antenna tower within
an effective locked fence or other enclosure and to
make most required items in the station's public
inspection file available for public inspection during
regular business hours.
2. In an April 14, 2003 Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''),2 the Commission's New Orleans, Louisiana
Office (``New Orleans Office'') proposed a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of $17,000 to Williams. Williams does not contest the
subject violations. Williams filed a response to the NAL on May
16, 2003, and supplemented his response on July 21 and 23, 2004.
3. The forfeiture amount in this case was proposed in
accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended (``Act''),3 Section 1.80 of the Rules,4 and the
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines.5 In
assessing forfeitures, Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act requires
that we take into account the nature, circumstances, extent and
gravity of the violation and, with respect to the violator, the
degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to
pay, and such other matters as justice may require.6
4. To the extent that Williams suggests that plans were
underway to address the violations before the inspection,
Williams has failed to provide any documentation to support such
an assertion. Willliams also seeks mitigation, stating that he
has remedied the defects identified in the Commission inspection.
However, no mitigation is warranted on the basis of Williams's
correction of the violations. As the Commission stated in
Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099 (1994), ``corrective
action taken to come into compliance with Commission rules or
policy is expected, and does not nullify or mitigate any prior
forfeitures or violations.'' 7
5. In support of his request for
cancellation or reduction of the proposed forfeiture, Williams
submits financial data, including federal income tax returns for
years 2000 and 2001.8 The Commission has determined that, in
general, a licensee's gross revenues are the best indicator of
its ability to pay a forfeiture.9 After considering the financial
documentation submitted, we conclude that reduction of the
forfeiture amount to $9,200 is appropriate. 10
6. We have examined Williams's response to the NAL
pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with
the Policy Statement as well. As a result of our review, we
conclude that Williams willfully11 violated Sections 73.49 and
73.3526(c)(1) of the Rules, but we reduce the forfeiture proposed
for these violations from $17,000 to $9,200, based on Williams's
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT,
pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act,12 and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules,13 Marion R.
Williams IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of
nine thousand, two hundred dollars ($9,200) for willful violation
of Sections 73.49 and 73.3526(c)(1) of the Rules.
8. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Rules within 30 days of the
release of this Order. If the forfeiture is not paid within the
period specified, the case may be referred to the Department of
Justice for collection pursuant to Section 504(a) of the Act.14
Payment shall be made by mailing a check or similar instrument,
payable to the order of the ``Federal Communications
Commission,'' to the Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment must include
the FCC Registration Number (FRN) and the NAL/Acct. No.
referenced in the caption. Requests for full payment under an
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this Order shall
be sent by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt
requested, to Marion R. Williams, 7606 Harold Avenue, Gary,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.49 and 73.3526(c)(1).
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200332620014 (Enf. Bur., New Orleans Office, released April 14,
3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
5 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999)
(``Forfeiture Policy Statement'').
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 See also Callais Cablevision, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 22626, 22629
(2002); Radio Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973); and
Executive Broadcasting Corp., 3 FCC 2d 699, 700 (1966).
8 In support of his reduction request, Williams also states that
his operation is a small business entity. However, it is well
established that reliance on small business status alone is
insufficient See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd 17087,
17109 ¶¶ 51-52 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); see
also Jerry Szoka, 14 FCC Rcd 20147, 20150 ¶¶ 9-10 (1999).
9 See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 2089
10 Id. at 2089 (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 2.02 percent of the violator's gross
revenues); Hoosier Broadcasting Corporation, 15 FCC Rcd 8640,
8641 (Enf. Bur. 2002) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross
revenues); Afton Communications Corp., 7 FCC Rcd 6741 (Com. Car.
Bur. 1992) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 3.9 percent of the violator's gross revenues).
11 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term `willful,'
... means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized
by this Act ....'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
14 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
15 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.