House grills FCC chairman over Hatfield dismissal

The House telecom subcommittee has been having a field day with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin: The latest confrontation saw Pennsylvania Democrat Mike Doyle accusing Martin of misleading Congress after abruptly terminating a contract for a new enhanced 911 study. The contract was with Dale Hatfield, a telecom policy advisor on the Bush spectrum initiative and a professor at the University of Colorado. Rep. Doyle claims FCC staff learned that some of the stud's key findings showed serious problems with locating emergency wireless callers inside buildings and in rural areas, so Martin pulled the plug on the study.

Doyle said: "When Chairman Martin said that Mr. Hatfield 'never presented any of the initial findings to us' he was at best mistaken, and at worst willfully misrepresenting the truth."

Martin claimed that Hatfield "never presented any of the initial findings to us and indeed when I found out about the contract, which I was unaware of until the spring of 2006, we actually asked him that he provide us with a summary of his findings and where he was going on this report, which he declined."

For more on the latest Martin grilling:
- see this report from RCR News (sub. req.)