Albert Hee of Sandwich Isles has now been convicted of $2M for fraud, including writing off $96,000 of two hour messages as a necessary business expense. Everyone in policy knew that SI was egregiously abusing the universal service program. The cost to the government and ratepayers is literally in the hundreds of millions. When I saw an SI FCC filing with all the important financial information REDACTED I filed a freedom of information request.
I believe that those collecting taxpayer money should provide all the information necessary to discover waste. I agreed not to request anything that really was sensitive. Initially, the FCC staff agreed, but SI’s expensive DC lawyer, Rick Joyce of Venable, filed an objection, claiming even basic financial information would seriously help their competitors. I disagreed, pointing out that in a different filing SI had claimed they had no competition to justify a subsidy.
Months later (October 29), I received a note from the FCC pointing to a detailed ruling denying me access. Click on the picture to read it.
The only thing they would release was a loan summary, that shouldn’t have been redacted because the detail was already public record elsewhere. I didn’t have the time or the money to take it further.
Government stonewalling on Albert Hee, politically connected, goes back at least to 2002, when Roberta Purcell of RUS was presented convincing evidence of $100M+ abuse and she refused to answer questions from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.