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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
JACK R. SHARPLES ) WT Docket No. 07-108
Application for New License in the ) FCC File No. 0002185605
Amateur Radio Service
HEARING DESIGNATION ORDER
Adopted: May 23, 2007 Released: May 24, 2007
By Deputy Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau:
1. By this Hearing Designation Order, we commence a hearing proceeding
before a Commission Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to determine
whether the above-captioned application filed by Jack R. Sharples for
a new Amateur Radio Service license should be granted. As discussed
below, Sharples is a convicted felon and registered sexual predator.
Based on the information before us, we believe that Sharples's actions
raise a substantial and material question of fact as to whether he
possesses the requisite character qualifications to be a Commission
licensee. Because we are unable to make a determination on the record
currently before us that grant of Sharples's application for a new
amateur license would serve the public interest, convenience, and
necessity, we hereby designate the application for hearing, as
required by Section 309(e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended (the Act).
2. Sharples filed the above-captioned application on June 3, 2005.
Information has come to the Commission's attention that Sharples was
convicted in 1996 of having violated Section 800.04 of the Florida
Statutes (Lewdly Fondle or Assault, Commit or Simulate Sexual Acts on
or in Presence of a Child under 16 in a Lewd, Lascivious or Indecent
Manner). Sharples also was adjudicated under Section 800.04 in 1999.
In addition, Sharples is identified by the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement as a sexual predator.
3. 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.
4. In assessing character qualifications in broadcast licensing matters,
the Commission considers, as relevant, "evidence of any conviction for
misconduct constituting a felony." The Commission has found 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. In addition, conviction of certain felonies involving
egregious misconduct "might, of its own nature, constitute prima facie
evidence that the applicant lacks the traits of reliability and/or
truthfulness necessary to be a licensee." The Commission has
consistently applied these character standards to applicants and
licensees in the Amateur Radio Service. Thus, felony convictions,
especially those involving sexual offenses involving children, raise
questions regarding an amateur licensee's qualifications.
5. Sharples's felony conviction for at least one sexual-related offense
involving children raises material and substantial questions as to
whether he possesses the requisite character qualifications to be a
Commission licensee. Although Sharples's felony adjudications occurred
more than seven years ago, the nature of his criminal misconduct and
the fact the amateur radio service is particularly attractive to
children call into serious question whether he should be permitted to
obtain an amateur radio authorization. Consequently, we will commence
a hearing proceeding before an administrative law judge to provide
Sharples with an opportunity to demonstrate whether his
above-captioned application should be granted.
IV. ordering clauses
6. 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. SS 154(i),
309(e), the 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 the effect of Jack R. Sharples's felony adjudication(s)
on his qualifications to be licensed by the Commission.
b. In light of the evidence adduced pursuant to the foregoing issue, to
determine whether Jack R. Sharples is qualified to be a Commission
c. In light of the evidence adduced pursuant to the foregoing issues, to
determine whether the captioned application filed by Jack R. Sharples
should be granted.
7. 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, Jack R.
Sharples, in person or by his attorney, SHALL FILE with the
Commission, within twenty 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.
8. 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 Jack R. Sharples 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.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Chief, Enforcement Bureau, shall be
made a party to this proceeding without the need to file a written
10. 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. SS 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 Jack R. Sharples.
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Hearing Designation Order or
a summary thereof SHALL BE PUBLISHED in the Federal Register.
12. This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections
0.131 and 0.331 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. SS 0.131, 0.331.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Deputy Chief, Mobility Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
47 U.S.C. S 309(e).
(visited April 2, 2007).
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 (1990) (1990
Character Order), recon. on other grounds, 6 FCC Rcd 3448 (1991), modified
on other grounds, 7 FCC Rcd 6564 (1992).
See 1990 Character Order, 5 FCC Rcd at 3252 P 4.
Contemporary Media, Inc. v. FCC, 214 F.3d 187, 193 (D.C. Cir. 2000).
See, e.g., Schoenbohm v. FCC, 204 F.3d 243, 246-49 (D.C. Cir. 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 its lack of candor regarding such conviction); see also
Roger Thomas Scaggs, Order to Show Cause, 18 FCC Rcd 24367 (EB 2003)
(finding that an amateur radio operator licensee's murder conviction
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/PRB 1992),
affirmed and licenses revoked, Order of Revocation and Affirmation, 7 FCC
Rcd 7291 (PRB 1992) (revoking general radiotelephone operator, amateur
advanced class radio and amateur radio station licenses on the basis of
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
station licensee's felony conviction for interfering with governmental
radio communications raised serious questions regarding his character and
qualifications to remain a Commission licensee).
See David L. Titus, Order to Show Cause, 22 FCC Rcd 1638 (EB 2007)
(designating amateur radio operator's license for revocation based on
licensee's felony conviction for communicating with a minor for immoral
purposes); Robert D. Landis, Order To Show Cause, 21 FCC Rcd 8741 (EB
2006) (designating amateur radio operator's license for revocation based
on licensee's felony conviction for child molestation); George E. Rodgers,
Hearing Designation Order, 10 FCC Rcd 3978 (WTB 1995) (finding that an
amateur radio operator 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).
The facts of Sharples's 1996 and 1999 felony adjudications, as well as any
other felonies of which he may have been convicted, are res judicata and
shall not be retried in this hearing.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 07-2183
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-2183