Martin Probe Ongoing; Chairman May Be Asked to Testify

FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin may be called to testify before Congress in a review of how he runs the agency, The Washington Post reported this week.

Hearings by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations have been proposed for June, according to a congressional memo obtained by the newspaper.

“The bottom line is that the FCC process appears broken and most of the blame appears to rest with Chairman Martin,” Commerce and Energy Committee staff members stated in a memo to Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., the chair of the subcommittee.

Neither the FCC nor the committee would comment other than to confirm no hearings have been slated, according to the account.

The probe began in December after Martin’s fellow commissioners complained that relevant information was kept from them until just before votes at monthly meetings. The Post reported that according to the memo, more than 30 current and former FCC employees have been interviewed, along with telecom lobbyists and private citizens—the first indication that the investigation has turned up material to support complaints against the chairman.

Martin has defended how he runs the agency and made moves to make the process more transparent; last week he announced items will be publicized three weeks before a vote at the agency’s public monthly meeting.