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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Geneva Walker Licensee of Station WMAF-AM Madison,
Florida ) ) ) ) ) ) ) File No.: EB-FIELDSCR-12-00003047 File No.:
EB-11-TP-0067 NAL/Acct. No.: 20123270 0005 FRN: 0003774288 Facility ID
Adopted: May 2, 2013 Released: May 2, 2013
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) to Geneva Walker,
licensee of Station WMAF-AM (Station), for willfully and repeatedly
violating Section 11.35(a) of the Commission's rules (Rules).^ The
noted violations involved Ms. Walker's failure to maintain operational
Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment and records indicating why EAS
tests were not received.
2. On July 9, 2012, the Enforcement Bureau's Tampa Office (Tampa Office)
issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) ^ ^ to Ms.
Walker for failure to comply with EAS requirements. In response to the
NAL, Ms. Walker admitted to the violation, but nonetheless urged
cancellation or reduction of the proposed $8,000 forfeiture, asserting
that there is "no money to pay the forfeiture or to make installment
payments" and that she has "had no problems with the FCC and [has]
never had to provide any response to the FCC for any noncompliance."^
Ms. Walker also certified that Station WMAF-AM now has operational EAS
equipment and is in full compliance with the EAS requirements.^
3. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(Act),^ Section 1.80 of the Rules,^ and the Forfeiture Policy
Statement.^ In examining Ms. Walker's response, Section 503(b)(2)(E)
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 Ms. Walker's response
in light of these statutory factors, and find that a reduction of the
forfeiture is warranted based on inability to pay.
4. First, we affirm the NAL's undisputed finding that Ms. Walker violated
Section 11.35(a) of the Rules.^ Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires
all broadcast stations to ensure that EAS encoders, EAS decoders, and
attention signal generating and receiving equipment are installed and
operational so that the monitoring and transmitting functions are
available during the times the station is in operation.^ As reflected
in the NAL, on July 26, 2011, Station WMAF-AM had been without
operational EAS equipment since December 2010. "Additionally, EAS
Participants must determine the cause of any failure to receive the
required tests or activations specified in S 11.61(a)(1) and (a)(2).
Appropriate entries indicating reasons why any tests were not received
must be made in the broadcast station log."^ The Station had no record
of any EAS tests ever having been received and no logs of EAS tests
being sent after September 15, 2010. Based on the evidence before us,
we conclude that Ms. Walker willfully and repeatedly violated Section
11.35(a) of the Rules by failing to maintain operational EAS equipment
and failing to maintain complete EAS logs.
5. In response to the NAL, Ms. Walker nonetheless requests cancellation
or reduction of the $8,000 forfeiture based on her inability to pay.
With regard to an individual or entity's inability to pay claim, the
Commission has determined that, in general, gross revenues are the
best indicator of an ability to pay a forfeiture.^ Based on the
financial documents provided by Ms. Walker, we find sufficient basis
to reduce the forfeiture to $3,000.^ However, we caution Ms. Walker
that a party's inability to pay is only one factor in our forfeiture
calculation analysis, and is not dispositive.^ We have previously
rejected inability to pay claims in cases of repeated or otherwise
egregious violations.^ Therefore, future violations of this kind may
result in significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced due
to Ms. Walker's financial circumstances.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
6. 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, Geneva Walker
IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of three thousand
dollars ($3,000) for violations of Section 11.35(a) of the
7. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
Section 1.80 of the Rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the
release date of this Forfeiture Order.^ If the forfeiture is not paid
within the period specified, the case may be referred to the U.S.
Department of Justice for enforcement of the forfeiture pursuant to
Section 504(a) of the Act.^ Geneva Walker shall send electronic
notification of payment to SCR-Response@fcc.gov on the date said
payment is made. The payment must be made by check or similar
instrument, wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the
NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Regardless of the form of
payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be
submitted.^ When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number
in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters "FORF"
in block number 24A (payment type code). Below are additional
instructions you should follow based on the form of payment you
* Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the
completed Form 159) must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent
via overnight mail to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
* Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete
the wire transfer and ensure appropriate crediting of the wired funds,
a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at (314) 418-4232 on
the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
* Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit
card information on FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159
to authorize the credit card payment. The completed Form 159 must then
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St.
Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101.
8. Any request for making full payment over time under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer--Financial Operations, Federal
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
D.C. 20554.^ If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please
contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201,
or by e-mail, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
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 Geneva
Walker, P.O. Box 776, Perry, FL 32348-0776, and to her attorney, Sherry D.
Walker, 8133 Mahan Dr., Tallahassee, FL 32309.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
South Central Region
^ 47 C.F.R. S 11.35(a).
^ Geneva Walker, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 27 FCC Rcd
7530 (Enf. Bur. 2012). A comprehensive recitation of the facts and history
of this case can be found in the NAL and is incorporated herein by
^ Unsworn Declaration from Geneva Walker, at 2 (Aug. 3, 2012) (on file in
EB-11-TP-0067) (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), recons. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999)
(Forfeiture Policy Statement).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
^ See NAL, supra note 2.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 11.35(a).
^ See 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 12. Ms. Walker
also argues for a reduced forfeiture because of her history of compliance.
Because we are already reducing the forfeiture based on the Licensee's
inability to pay well beyond any reduction Ms. Walker would receive for
the other argument, we need not address this other claim.
^ See 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E) (requiring Commission to 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).
^ Kevin W. Bondy, Forfeiture Order, 26 FCC Rcd 7840 (Enf. Bur., Western
Region 2011) (holding that violator's repeated acts of malicious and
intentional interference outweigh evidence concerning his ability to pay)
(petition for reconsideration pending); Hodson Broadcasting Corp.,
Forfeiture Order, 24 FCC Rcd 13699 (Enf. Bur. 2009) (holding that
permittee's continued operation at variance with its construction permit
constituted an intentional and continuous violation, which outweighed
permittee's evidence concerning its ability to pay the proposed
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80(f)(4),
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
^ An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be
obtained at http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 13-972
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-972