Story County, Iowa, criticizes efforts to block public release of FirstNet e-mails, and calls the federal government’s position that FirstNet-oriented documents are protected from open-disclosure laws “unconstitutional.”
It’s wise that FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn’s decided to have the U.S. Department of Commerce inspector general investigate Paul Fitzgerald’s allegations of ethical misconduct. Public-safety officials won’t join this network if they don’t trust FirstNet—and they’re not going to trust FirstNet, if they think Fitzgerald’s allegations were swept under the rug by an internal investigation.
It also extends similar negotiations with the state of Mississippi and Motorola Solutons to Nov. 15; all four entities were Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant recipients. Chairman Sam Ginn said the BTOP projects would provide “an early test of the kind of issues” that FirstNet might face in building a nationwide broadband communications network for first responders.
FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn will ask the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) Inspector General to investigate claims made by FirstNet board member Paul Fitzgerald regarding alleged improprieties associated with ethics and procurement, instead of having an internal special review committee do the work
U.S. Department of Justice–representing FirstNet–has until mid-November to respond to a Story County, Iowa, filing. Story County has asked a federal court to lift a preliminary injunction blocking the public release of e-mail sent and received by FirstNet board member Paul Fitzgerald, the county’s sheriff, using his work e-mail account.
While the federal government shutdown is forcing FirstNet to be “very cost-conscious,” staff still is working on the entity’s various missions–including the selection of staff to meet with the individual states and territories–says TJ Kennedy, FirstNet’s deputy general manager.
Morgan O’Brien–co-founder of Nextel Communications and the first to propose a nationwide broadband network for public safety–says the private-radio industry also needs to migrate to broadband technologies like LTE to flourish.