On at least two occasions, information was provided under non-disclosure agreements, Fitzgerald says, adding that others shared information openly only because believed that the e-mails would be kept confidential. Story County, Iowa, wants to release the e-mails under its open-records law, but FirstNet Secretary Uzoma Onyeije maintains that exposing the e-mails publicly would have a “chilling effect” on future communications among board members.
Chief among them: Why did Fitzgerald–after being instructed by the Story County board of supervisors not to do so–release to the federal government FirstNet related e-mails before releasing them to the media outlet that had made an open-records request under Iowa state law?
Veteran private-equity investor and telecom investor Barry Boniface will fill the slot vacated by Bill Keever; while in telecom, Boniface was involved in several of the sector’s largest mergers, including BellSouth/AT&T, Cingular Wireless/AT&T Wireless and Sprint/Clearwire.
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