Glenn A. Baxter is notorious...
In reviewing the history of K1MAN and Glenn Baxter's character qualifications to remain a Commission licensee, we can go back many years, to May of 1986, when he sued the advertising manager of QST and another employee of ARRL for conspiring to damage his business reputation.
QST had received a complaint that showed that Baxter's Collins Repair and Alignment Service had significantly overcharged a customer beyond an amount they had previously agreed upon.
The advertising manager at the time wrote Baxter on QST letterhead, saying, "When your service charges escalate from $75 to $225 and then to $275 we become very much concerned about the manner in which you are treating our members. You will recall that I discussed with you ... the highly suspect illegal spending of deposits which members were sending to you... unless you can convince me that your operation exists in the best interests of our members, we shall be unable to carry further advertising from you."
This exchange and the subsequent lawsuit by Baxter (dismissed) may help to explain why Baxter has attacked the ARRL and its staff with such zeal over the years. Baxter says IARN is an "Alternative to ARRL" but discerning readers will recognize another agenda.
Some old timers may recall Baxter's lawsuit against the FCC to maintain the old AM power output of 1,000 watts. That lawsuit was dismissed because Baxter failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing suit. Apparently there really is a drawback to acting as your own attorney.
You may also recall Baxter's 10 million dollar lawsuit against the FCC? He claimed he was defamed by the alleged suggestion that he was shut down by the FCC. Baxter reported at the time that he had merely taken a break to teach high school. This case was also dismissed (with prejudice) because Baxter failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing suit. Baxter has threatened to sue the FCC's Riley Hollingsworth personally, as well as a number of others. A threat that has yet to materialize.
On January 23, 2003, Walter Cronkite's attorney wrote to Baxter asking him to stop using Walter's voice ID over K1MAN's bulletin. "Mr. Cronkite previously requested that you refrain from any further use of the audiotape, or from any suggestion that he endorses your station, Association, or other operations." Cronkite's attorney, Ronald S. Konecky, went on to call Baxter's actions "a violation of Mr. Cronkite's rights, totally improper, and a cause of serious damage to his name and reputation."
Baxter's actions, have not endeared him to Walter Cronkite, The Maine Department of Justice, the FCC, or the countless radio operators who've complained about Baxter's interference to their ongoing communications.
When Baxter began to send out his self-styled Felony Affidavit Complaints to those he perceived as interfering with his bulletin service, Baxter was warned.
On January 5th, 1995, Jay McCloskey, the U.S. Attorney at the Maine Department of Justice wrote to Baxter, telling him, "It is against the law to write and mail this type of threatening communication, especially when it has no basis in fact. If you continue sending this type of letter, you may be subject to Federal criminal charges for misrepresentation and for using the mails to make threats. You may also jeopardize your amateur radio license; the FCC can use evidence of this type of conduct to demonstrate that you no longer meet the character requirements for a license."
Baxter responded to this letter on January 9, 1995 by writing to the Assistant US Attorney, stating, "Your blatant and malicious abuse of the power vested in you by the citizens of the United States is despicable, unethical, criminal and unprofessional." Baxter went on to demand a retraction, which he never received.
On January 23, 1995, FCC Counsel John Greenspan wrote Baxter regarding his letter to the Assistant US Attorney, "Your reply suggests to me that you may very well lack the character qualifications to be an FCC licensee. You certainly lack the maturity, but that is, unfortunately, not grounds for revocation. If it is ultimately determined that you have made improper threats, that determination could result in a hearing to examine your fitness to remain an FCC license and/or criminal prosecution."
John Greenspan went on to add, "Although you have not used lawyers in the past, I suggest that you consult with an attorney knowledgeable in FCC procedures about your alleged conduct. To provide some incentive for you to do this, let me say that if you wish to speak with me for any reason, it must be through an attorney. I will not accept any calls or letters from you personally."
Baxter has been contacted by the FCC on numerous occasions and his station was finally inspected by the FCC in 2004. The FCC has written to him about allegations of broadcasting, deliberate interference, failure to identify, poor signal quality, erratic starting and stopping times, recording and broadcasting conversations without permission, and in June 2005, Baxter received a $21,000 NAL (fine) for broadcasting, interference, operating with a pecuniary interest, and failure to respond to a Commission Directive.
Baxter uses the courts to settle disputes that might be better handled by a personal phone call. More often than not, Baxter has lost in the courts due to procedural defects in his lawsuits. He is not, contrary to a popular myth, fabulously wealthy, or a lawyer.
The IARN charity did not make enough money to require that he file taxes last year. Ironically, Baxter considers IARN an alternative to ARRL. IARN is listed as "not in good standing" on the website of the Maine Secretary of State. An underfunded organization like IARN, headed by a President whose license is in doubt is considered a bad joke by many amateurs familiar with Glenn Baxter.
On May 4, 1983, Baxter sued Camp Runoia, a camp for little girls, because they stacked cordwood on the side of the road. Baxter said the wood made it impossible to plow the road. The case was dismissed. The camp had removed the wood prior to the case being heard.
According to reports gleaned from court records in December of 2003, and February 2005, Baxter was dismissed from his job (fired) as a radio station engineer Maine. When he applied for unemployment compensation, the attorney for the station advised his clients not to attend the unemployment hearing.
"Because Mr. Baxter has demonstrated offensive behavior similar to that which prompted his termination, I have advised the Bouchards not to attend Monday's hearing. I indicated to you in our conversation that the Bouchards' fear for their safety as a result of Mr. Baxter's threatening behavior. Mr. Bouchard terminated Mr. Baxter from employment when Mr. Baxter repeatedly acted in a threatening manner to his supervisor and to other employess at the job site.
Mr. Baxter demonstrated his inability to act responsibly and to exert self-contol at the last hearing." The attorney (Robert J. Stolt of Lipman, Katz & McKee) goes on to say, "Payments of benefits to Mr. Baxter is a lesser evil than someone being harmed by him."
Baxter sued regarding these comments, but the court held that the comments made by the attorney were completely privileged in nature and were therefore protected by law.
Baxter's suit ensured the comments about his character will reside in the public records of the Maine courts in perpetuity, for anyone with the desire to read them.
Baxter says he suffers from mental illness, and if that is true, I hope he receives the help he needs. However, many of his peers believe Baxter has amply proven that he does not deserve to remain a Commision licensee.
The FCC may demand that Baxter appear before an Administrative Law Judge. If that happens, Baxter will have the burden of proving that he should remain a Commission licensee. If Baxter does go to court, he'll carry a VERY heavy burden.