WASHINGTON – Lawyer Dennis Watkins, who holds the licenses for radio stations of “grim reaper” Bob Romanik, missed a deadline to provide necessary information to the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC confirmed on Feb. 19 that there has been no response to a show cause order that administrative judge law Jane Halprin issued on Jan. 24.
Her order set a Feb. 10 deadline for Watkins to explain his failure to follow commission rules and her orders.
“The time has to question whether additional government time and resources should be devoted to this matter if the party seeking renewal of its licenses doesn’t deem it sufficiently important to vigorously advance its case," Halprin wrote.
Watkins holds the licenses as trustee of Romanik’s Entertainment Media Trust.
The commission initiated enforcement proceedings against the trust on a complaint from St. Clair County board chairman Mark Kern.
He claims Romanik established the trust to conceal his control of the licenses.
Romanik can’t control them because he spent time in prison for bank fraud.
Watkins filed an entry of appearance on Dec. 19, but didn’t sign it.
Halprin rejected it, finding it lacked the most basic indicia of authenticity.
She wrote that an order sent to his office at 100 West Main Street in Belleville was returned as unclaimed and that he was simultaneously served at 6500 West Main Street, the address of the trust.
She wrote that the phone number on his notice was not in service and he provided no electronic mail address. She ordered him to provide an electronic mail address and a telephone number at which he could be directly contacted.
“Entertainment Media Trust has been made aware of the repercussions of its behavior, but has taken no meaningful corrective action," she wrote
Halprin further wrote that she made multiple concessions to spur robust discovery, but they had the opposite effect due to the trust’s continuous efforts at obfuscation.
She has set a hearing in October, but her order indicated she might call it off.
She wrote that she considered inviting the enforcement bureau and Kern to file motions to dismiss.
Finally, she wrote that subsequent events “weigh against even such an incremental additional expenditure.”