A man charged with willfully and repeatedly violating FCC rules failed to convince the commission to overturn its ruling in a San Diego pirate radio case. But he succeeded in getting his fine reduced from $10,000 to $750.
The FCC said it cut the fine after considering Donald Payne’s arguments that though he was the landlord of the garage from which the unlicensed station on 96.9 MHz operated, he did not operate the station and that he shut down the station prior to the issuance of the FCC’s notice.
The commission disputed Payne’s summary of events and said he had at least two opportunities to immediately shut down the illegal station operating on his property; also the fact that he finally did shut it down eight months after the notice shows that he did have control over it and could have complied with FCC warnings much earlier. But the commission took into account other mitigating factors and reduced the fine, also citing Payne’s “demonstrated inability to pay.” The case dated to April 2006.