FirstNet Investigation to Transfer to Inspector General from Board Committee (10/25/13)
Friday, October 25, 2013 | Comments

By Sandra Wendelken
First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Chairman Sam Ginn said he asked the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Commerce to take over the investigation of allegations made by Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald earlier this year regarding the FirstNet board of directors.

A Special Review Committee (SRC) composed of FirstNet board members has been handling the investigation and in September released a report covering phase one of the investigation. The first report detailed the SRC’s investigation into allegations of a lack of openness and transparency, board member access to information and a lack of input from public safety. The report found no illegal activity by the board.

The committee had planned to move to a second phase to investigate Fitzgerald’s ethics concerns and FirstNet procurement activities, followed by a final report and recommendations.

At the end of a teleconference board meeting Oct. 25, Ginn asked for a closed executive session. After about 40 minutes, the board re-opened the meeting and announced the change in the investigation.

“During the closed session, I informed the board that I am asking the Commerce Department’s Office of the Inspector General to take over phase two of the Special Review Committee’s work,” Ginn said. “The outstanding procurement issues are complicated. FirstNet is working cooperatively with the Inspector General and anticipates a prompt and complete resolution of all outstanding issues.”

The meeting was quickly adjourned following Ginn’s remarks.

Fitzgerald, sheriff of Story County, Iowa, first raised his concerns in April.

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