Fitzgerald speaks to FirstNet special committee
FirstNet board member Paul Fitzgerald confirmed that he has provided verbal and written evidence to attorneys for the FirstNet Special Committee that is charged with investigating Fitzgerald’s allegations of wrongdoing by board members that are overseeing the deployment of a nationwide broadband network for first responders.
“I met with the Department of Commerce attorneys that are assisting with the special review committee,” Fitzgerald said yesterday during an interview with Urgent Communications. “I met with them, discussed my motion and gave what I believe is documentation to support my motion.
“They were very receptive to visiting with me. They received my information, and we had a good discussion. I don’t know what they’re doing with it; that will be up to them. Like everyone else, I’m just waiting for the results of the committee to come out.”
During the FirstNet board’s April meeting, Fitzgerald made a motion that included allegations that some board members had conflicts of interest, that the 400-page startup plan for the network was “flawed,” that FirstNet was treating its public-safety advisory committee (PSAC) as a “necessary evil,” and that FirstNet lacked transparency in its actions, which is “killing our credibility.”
After Fitzgerald made his statement, FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn called for the formation of special review committee to investigate the allegations. FirstNet board member Wellington Webb is chairman of the special review committee.
Webb announced during the board’s June meeting that the special review committee would receive counsel from DOC attorneys. In addition, Webb noted that the committee’s investigation would begin with testimony from Fitzgerald, who at the time was suffering from a serious illness and had not had any interaction with a representative of the committee.
Last week, Fitzgerald distributed a letter stating that he “presented a lengthy document for review and supporting evidence” to lawyers representing FirstNet’s special review committee and to the DOC Inspector General.
“Through the Special Review Committee process, I am hopeful that FirstNet will make certain reforms to improve our processes, increase our transparency, meaningfully include public safety, and move forward to success,” Fitzgerald’s letter states. “The effective development of a nationwide public-safety broadband network is critically important to all first responders, and I pledge to continue to do everything in my power to ensure that my public safety colleagues are deeply involved in this process and get the network we so desperately need.”
The next FirstNet board meeting is scheduled to be conducted on Tuesday.