Friday, August 11, 2017

Human Rights Groups Say FCC's Pai Has Conflict Of Interests

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is getting called out by a human rights group in a controversy over pricey phone calls for prisoners, according to The NYPost.

Pai has a “clear conflict of interest” in approving a sale of prison phone company Securus Technologies to Platinum Equity Partners, the Human Rights Defense Center has said in a Wednesday letter to FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch.

More broadly, Pai has a conflict of interest in trying to roll back Obama-era regulations on prison phone companies, the Human Rights Defense Center says.

Securus has been accused of charging extraordinarily high phone rates to families of inmates.

Platinum Equity in May agreed to buy Securus for $1.5 billion and is waiting for FCC approval.

Pai before becoming an FCC Commissioner in 2012 and FCC Chair in 2017 represented Securus when a partner with the law firm Jenner & Block, the Human Rights Defense Center alleges.

In a July 7 statement sent to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as part of his FCC reconfirmation process, Pai said he did a “limited amount of work” from April 2011 through May 2012 for law firm Jenner & Block.

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