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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Angel Vera-Maury ) File Number: EB-05-SJ-013
Licensee of WRSS(AM) ) NAL/Acct. No.: 200532680003
San Sebastian, PR ) FRN: 0004065629
Facility ID # 499971 )
Adopted: August 29, 2005 Released: August
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of five thousand six hundred
dollars ($5,600) to Angel Vera-Maury, licensee of station
WRSS(AM) in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, for willful violation of
Section 73.49 of the Communication's Rules (``Rules'').1 The
noted violation involves Mr. Vera-Maury's failure to enclose the
station's antenna structure within an effective locked fence or
2. On April 8, 2005, resident agents from the San Juan
Office of the Enforcement Bureau (``San Juan Office'') informed
the contract engineer for station WRSS(AM) that they would be
conducting an inspection of the station's transmitter site later
that day. The contract engineer stated that the agents would
find an opening in the base fence surrounding the station's
3. Still on April 8, 2005, the agents conducted an
inspection at the studio and transmitter site for station
WRSS(AM) in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. The agents found an
opening in the fence surrounding the base of the antenna that
would allow access to the base. The agents also observed that
the perimeter property fence did not have a working gate. The
gate for the property fence was lying to the side of the access
road on an angle and was not in use.
4. On May 18, 2005, the San Juan Office issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Mr. Vera-Maury in the amount
of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for the apparent willful
violation of Section 73.49 of the Rules.2 On June 15, 2005, Mr.
Vera-Maury submitted a response to the NAL requesting a reduction
or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the 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, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997),
recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (``Forfeiture Policy
Statement''). In examining Mr. Vera-Maury's response, Section
503(b) of the Act requires that the Commission 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 other such matters
as justice may require.5
6. Section 73.49 of the Rules requires that antenna towers
having radio frequency potential at the base must be enclosed
within effective locked fences or other enclosures. Individual
tower fences need not be installed if the towers are contained
within a protective property fence. On April 8, 2005, station
WRSS (AM)'s antenna structure was not enclosed by an effective
locked fence or other enclosure. The contract engineer for the
station informed the agents of this fact prior to the inspection.
The agents observed a gap in the fence surrounding the base of
the structure that would allow access to the base of the
transmitter. Moreover, the antenna structure was not contained
within a protective property fence. The agents observed that the
gate for the property fence was broken and lying to the side of
the access road, thus allowing unimpeded access to the property.
Mr. Vera-Maury does not deny any of these facts. Thus, based on
the evidence, we find that Mr. Vera-Maury willfully6 violated
Section 73.49 of the Rules by failing to enclose his station's
antenna structure within an effected locked fence or other
7. Mr. Vera-Maury requests a reduction or cancellation of
the forfeiture based on his good faith efforts to comply with the
Rules. Mr. Vera-Maury asserts that arrangements were being made
to replace the fence prior to the agents' inspection. He also
claims that the fence was replaced immediately following the
inspection.7 However, Mr. Vera-Maury failed to provide
sufficient detail regarding his arrangements and was unable to
produce any documentation of these arrangements. Moreover, the
contract engineer for the station made no mention of any
arrangements by the station to repair the fence when he noted
that the agents would find a fencing violation. Accordingly, we
find we cannot reduce the proposed forfeiture on the basis of
good faith efforts to comply with the Rules.
8. We have examined Mr. Vera-Maury's response to the NAL
pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with
the Forfeiture Policy Statement. As a result of our review, we
conclude that Mr. Vera-Maury willfully violated Section 73.49 of
the Rules. However, consistent with Mr. Vera-Maury's claim, we
reduce the proposed forfeiture to $5,600 based on Mr. Vera-
Maury's history of compliance with the Rules.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules,
Angel Vera-Maury IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the
amount of five thousand six hundred dollars ($5,600) for
willfully violating Section 73.49 of the Rules.
10. 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.8
Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar
instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission. The payment must include the NAL/Acct. No. and FRN
No. referenced above. Payment by check or money order may be
mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail
may be sent to Mellon Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room
1540670, Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be
made to ABA Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and
account number 911-6106. Requests for full payment under an
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall
be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Angel Vera-Maury at his record of address and to his
attorney, Christopher D. Imlay, Booth, Freret, Imlay & Tepper,
P.C., 14356 Cape May Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904-6011.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central
147 C.F.R. § 73.49.
2Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200532680003 (Enf. Bur., San Juan Office, May 18, 2005)
347 U.S.C. § 503(b).
447 C.F.R. § 1.80.
547 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
6Section 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).
7The agents do not know whether Mr. Vera-Maury replaced the fence
the day after the inspection. Regardless, Mr. Vera-Maury's
remedial actions to repair the fence after the agent's inspection
are expected and do not warrant a reduction in the forfeiture
amount. See AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 21861,
21864-75 (2002); Sonderling Broadcasting Corp., 69 FCC 2d 289,
291 (1978); Odino Joseph, 18 FCC Rcd 16522, 16524, para. 8 (Enf.
Bur. 2003); South Central Communications Corp., 18 FCC Rcd 700,
702-03, para. 9 (Enf. Bur. 2003); Northeast Utilities, 17 FCC Rcd
4115, 4117, para. 13 (Enf. Bur. 2002).
847 U.S.C. § 504(a).
9See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.