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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of File No.: EB-10-TP-0085
Power Ministries Facility ID No.: 133335
Licensee of Station WRLE-LP, NAL/Acct. No.: 201132700008
Dunnellon, Florida FRN: 0005344668
Adopted: January 18, 2012 Released: January 18, 2012
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) to Power
Ministries (Power), licensee of Station WRLE-LP, in Dunnellon, Florida
(the Station) for willful and repeated violation of section
73.1660(a)(2) of the Commission's rules (Rules). The noted violations
involved Power's failure to operate the Station with an FCC (Federal
Communications Commission) certified transmitter.
2. On September 7, 2011, the Enforcement Bureau's Tampa Office (Tampa
Office) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL)
to Power for operation of the Station with a non-certified
transmitter. As discussed in detail in the NAL, agents from the Tampa
Office determined that Power operated the Station with a non-certified
transmitter from March 19, 2010 until June 11, 2010. In view of the
record evidence and the fact that Power's operations caused
interference to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Air
Traffic Control frequency, the NAL proposed a $12,000 forfeiture
against Power for violation of section 73.1660(a)(2) of the Rules.
Power submitted a response to the NAL, requesting a reduction due to
3. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with section 503(b) of the Act, section 1.80 of the Rules, and the
Forfeiture Policy Statement. In examining Power'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. As discussed below, we have considered Power's response in
light of these statutory factors, and we reduce the forfeiture to
$1,500 based solely on its documented inability to pay.
4. As set forth in the NAL, agents from the Tampa Office determined that
Power operated the Station with a non-certified transmitter from March
19, 2010 until June 11, 2010. In its response to the NAL, Power does
not deny these facts. It states, however, that "[i]t was my
understanding that if the station was shut down immediately and I
complied with the direction of your office that no further action
would be taken. I did comply and shut down the station until the
transmitter that I had repaired arrived a few weeks later. I was not
aware that there was any interference."
5. The Commission expects parties to take post-inspection corrective
action to come into compliance with the Rules, however, and such
action does not nullify or mitigate any prior violations. Moreover,
while Power may have been unaware that it was causing interference to
the FAA prior to June 11, 2010, on that day an agent from the Tampa
Office clearly told both the representative at the Station and the
Station's owner via telephone that the Station's operations were
causing interference. As discussed in more detail in the NAL, both the
representative and owner deliberately disregarded the agent's request
that they immediately turn off the Station's transmitter in order to
abate the dangerous and ongoing safety hazard to air traffic control.
Instead, they allowed the transmitter to continue to operate
unlawfully for another 30 minutes before finally complying with the
agent's request. Accordingly, we find that Power willfully and
repeatedly violated section 73.1660(a)(2) of the Rules by operating
the Station with a non-certified transmitter and that the upward
adjustment in the proposed forfeiture was appropriate.
6. Regarding Power's inability to pay claim, the Commission has
determined in such cases that, in general, gross revenues are the best
indicator of an ability to pay a forfeiture. Based on the financial
documents and other materials provided by Power, we find sufficient
basis to reduce the forfeiture to $1,500.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 0.111, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's rules, Power
Ministries IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of one
thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) for violations of section
73.1660(a)(2) of the Commission's rules.
8. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
section 1.80 of the Rules within thirty (30) calendar 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
enforcement pursuant to section 504(a) of the Act. 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/Account Number and FRN referenced above. Payment by
check or money order may be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by
overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. Payment by
wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank
TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For payment by credit card, an
FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted. When completing
the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in block number 23A
(call sign/other ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in block number 24A
(payment type code). Requests for full payment under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer - Financial
Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington, D.C.
20554. Please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at
1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions
regarding payment procedures. Power Ministries shall also send
electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by both
First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Power
Ministries at 3092 SW Harbor Hills Road, Dunnellon, Florida 34431.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 C.F.R. S: 73.1660(a)(2).
Power Ministries, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd
12717 (Enf. Bur. 2011).
Id. A comprehensive recitation of the facts and history of this case can
be found in the NAL and is incorporated herein by reference.
Id. at 12717-12718.
Letter from Anthony Downes, Owner of Power Ministries, to Federal
Communications Commission, dated September 19, 2011 (NAL Response).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (Forfeiture
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 12717-12718.
NAL Response at 1.
See International Broadcasting Corporation, Order on Review, 25 FCC Rcd
1538 (2010); Seawest Yacht Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6099
NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 12717.
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 7 FCC Rcd
2088, 2089 (1992) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 2.02 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Local Long
Distance, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture not
deemed excessive where it represented approximately 7.9 percent of the
violator's gross revenues); Hoosier Broadcasting Corporation, Forfeiture
Order, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross revenues).
This forfeiture amount falls within the percentage range that the
Commission has previously found acceptable. See supra note 14. If Power
believes that the reduced forfeiture still poses a financial hardship, it
may request full payment in installments as described in paragraph 7.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314,
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
Federal Communications Commission DA 12-57
Federal Communications Commission DA 12-57