After a federal advisory board chose to not recommend the government move forward on approving LightSquared’s proposed 4G broadband internet service, the company claimed the decision was biased because of a conflict of interest by one of the board members on the advisory board. Thursday, LightSquared filed a formal ethics complaint against NASA’s inspector general’s office. The complaint alleges a key member of the advisory panel violated ethics laws.
LightSquared had threatened legal action of some sort after the decision from the advisory board announced its decision. The company has taken issue with Bradford Parkinson, who served as second in command on the advisory board and also is employed by Trimble, which has been vocal against LightSquared’s proposed projects.
The Politico.com reported that in the 27-page complaint, “LightSquared argues that Parkinson, as a Trimble board member who has publicly called the broadband company a ‘bunch of greedy guys that are like the worst of the people in real estate,’ has a clear conflict of interest pursuant to the law. Absent a waiver from NASA, which Parkinson did not receive, he should not have been advising the government on this matter, LightSquared attorney Curtis Lu argues.
“Essentially, the company makes the case that Parkinson created an unfair playing field, which undermines LightSquared’s chances of success.”
In addition to conflict of interest complaint, LightSquared also argues that the GPS industry fought the broadband company to protect its bottom line, not because of the interference issues, The Politico reported.
The reason for the pushback, the filing argues, is that the GPS industry wishes “to avoid [the] additional expense [of upgrading its equipment] while they try to head off a loss of market share to cellphones.”
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