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                         Before the
              Federal Communications Commission
                   Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                  )
Snow Hill Broadcasting, L.L.C.    )   File No. EB-04-CF-138
Licensee of WQMR                  )   NAL/Acct. No. 200432340005
Snow Hill, Maryland               )   FRN: 0007340201

                      FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:  August 30, 2005               Released:   
September 1, 2005

By the Regional Director, Northeast Region, Enforcement 


      1.  In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a 
 monetary forfeiture in the amount of four thousand dollars 
 ($4,000) to Snow Hill Broadcasting, L.L.C. (``Snow 
 Hill''), licensee of station WQMR, Snow Hill, Maryland, 
 for willful and repeated violations of Sections 
 73.3526(e)(6), 73.3526(e)(8), 73.3526(e)(9), and 
 73.3526(e)(12) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules").1 The 
 noted violations concern Snow Hill's failure to retain in 
 its public inspection file a political file, ``The Public 
 and Broadcasting'' manual, a file of letters and e-mail 
 from the public, and a file with quarterly issues/programs 
 lists for the year 2003.  


      2.  On March 19, 2004, agents from the Commission's 
 Columbia, Maryland Office (``Columbia Office'') inspected 
 radio station WQMR in Snow Hill, Maryland, for compliance 
 with FCC Rules.  At the time of the inspection, the agents 
 observed that the station operated in violation of several 
 public inspection file rules.  The agents noted that the 
 public inspection file did not include a political file, 
 the most recent copy of ``The Public and Broadcasting'' 
 manual, a file with letters and e-mail from the public, 
 and copies of the quarterly issues/programs lists for 

      3.  On March 26, 2004, the Columbia Office issued a 
 letter of inquiry to the owners of WQMR in order to gather 
 additional information regarding the operation of the 
 station and the retention of the required documentation in 
 the public inspection file.  By letter dated April 14, 
 2004, the managing partner of Maryland Star, L.L.C., John 
 P. Gillen (``Gillen''), responded to the letter of 
 inquiry.2 Gillen confirmed that the public inspection file 
 had ``been incomplete for at least the past 6 months.''  
 Further, Gillen outlined steps taken by Snow Hill to 
 correct violations brought to its attention in the letter 
 of inquiry.

      4.  On September 2, 2004, the Commission's Columbia 
 Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for 
 Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Snow Hill for a forfeiture in the 
 amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).  Snow Hill filed 
 a response to the NAL on October 5, 2004 seeking a 
 reduction in the forfeiture amount and requesting 
 additional time to submit financial statements.  Snow Hill 
 does not dispute the stated deficiencies in the public 
 file, but rather seeks a reduction on the grounds that the 
 omission of the items from the public file was 
 unintentional, it has taken appropriate remedial measures, 
 the forfeiture amount is excessive given the nature of the 
 violation, and payment of the forfeiture would impose a 
 substantial financial hardship.  Snow Hill submitted 
 financial statements in supplements filed on November 4, 
 2004, March 28, 2005, and April 20, 2005.  


      5.  The forfeiture amount proposed in this case was 
 assessed 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  As discussed below, we have 
 considered Snow Hill's response to the NAL in light of 
 these statutory factors and have found that reduction of 
 the proposed forfeiture amount from $10,000 to $4,000 is 

      6.  We first address Snow Hill's claim that the 
 forfeiture amount should be reduced because the violation 
 was unintentional.  Snow Hill states in its response to 
 the NAL that its officials were unaware that these items 
 were missing, and the failure to maintain the public file 
 was due to inadequate supervision of employees.  For a 
 violation to be willful, it must be committed consciously 
 and deliberately, irrespective of any intent to violate 
 the Rules.7  It is therefore irrelevant whether Snow Hill 
 intended to violate the public file rules.  Snow Hill, as 
 the licensee of WQMR, is responsible for maintaining the 
 public file and ensuring that its employees maintain the 
 public file in accordance with Commission rules and it 
 failed to do so.  We find that Snow Hill willfully 
 violated the public file rules and therefore a reduction 
 of the forfeiture amount on this basis is not warranted.8 

      7.  We likewise decline to reduce the forfeiture based 
 on Snow Hill's remedial efforts since the time of the 
 inspection.  Snow Hill states in its response to the NAL 
 that the public file has been updated and complies with 
 all applicable rules.  Snow Hill also states that it has 
 taken steps to prevent such violations from reoccurring.  
 These remedial efforts by Snow Hill do not warrant a 
 reduction or cancellation in the forfeiture.  As the 
 Commission has stated, ``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.''9 

      8.  Based on our review of the financial 
 documentation, Snow Hill is not entitled to a reduction 
 based on an inability to pay.  We agree with Snow Hill, 
 however, that the proposed forfeiture of $10,000 is in 
 excess of the amount assessed in the past for similar 
 public file violations.  We therefore reduce the 
 forfeiture to $4000 because the public file was partially 


      9.  Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to 
 Section 503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 
 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,11 Snow Hill Broadcasting, L.L.C., 
 thousand dollars ($4,000) for willful and repeated 
 violations of 73.3526(e)(6), 73.3526(e)(8), 73.3526(e)(9), 
 and 73.3526(e)(12) of the Rules.  

      10.      Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in 
 the manner provided for in Section 1.80 of the Rules 
 within thirty (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.12  
 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 
 bycheck or money order may be mailed to Federal 
 Communications Commission, P.O. Box358340,Pittsburgh, PA 
 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may be sent 
 toMellon Bank/LB358340,500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, 
 Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be 
 made to ABA Number043000261, receiving bankMellon Bank, 
 and account number911-6106.

      11.      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this 
 Order shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail 
 Return Receipt Requested to Snow Hill Broadcasting, L.L.C. 
 at its address of record.

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS 
                              Russell Monie, Jr.
                              Regional Director, Northeast 
                              Enforcement Bureau


147 C.F.R.    73.3526(e)(6), 73.3526(e)(8), 73.3526(e)(9) 
and 73.3526(e)(12).

2As  of May  21, 2004,  Maryland  Star, L.L.C.  has a  100% 
attributable interest in Snow Hill.

347 U.S.C.  503(b). 

447 C.F.R.  1.80.

512 FCC  Rcd 17087  (1997), recon. denied,  15 FCC  Rcd 303 
(1999) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement'').  

647 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

7Section 312(f)(1) of the  Act, 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).  

8We  note that,  in his  response  to the  NAL, Mr.  Gillen 
stated that the  ``file has been incomplete for  at least 6 
months.''  The violation therefore  is repeated and we need 
not even show  willful.  See Section 503(b)(1)  of the Act, 
47 U.S.C.   503(b)(1)  (violator liable for  forfeiture if 
violation is willful or repeated).

9See Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994).

10See   e.g.,   Twenty-One  Sound   Communications,   Inc., 
Forfeiture Order, DA 05-2065 (rel. July 27, 2005).

1147 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

1247 U.S.C.  504(a).