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San Jose Mayor Charges Broadband Network With Ethical Conflict

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San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A plan to set up a hi-tech broadband network for emergency responders is coming under fire from San Jose officials, as some think there may be a conflict of interest within the agency charged with setting up the network.

The Bay Area Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) is overseeing the rollout of a broadband network for emergency responders.  San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed says UASI was supposed to clear any grants with them and other Bay Area cities, but instead there was what he calls a bait-and-switch, and a $50 million grant went to Motorola without their approval.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

“So basically, the staff bypassed the approval authority,” he said. “That’s wrong, and it’s not what we agreed to.”

To compound the controversy, it turns out UASI is staffed by many former Motorola employees.

Mayor Reed has a lot of questions about this.

“Will it cost local government money?” he asked “How much money will it cost and who’s going to get the benefit of it?”

The city has filed a Freedom of Information Request with the Federal Government along with Santa Clara County.  UASI did not respond to requests for comment; Motorola sent a statement saying they are committed to delivering a “state-of-the-art broadband network to the greater Bay Area,” but the first phase does not include San Jose.

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