It was just one piece of equipment in an intricate emergency digital radio network, but the 2005 purchase of a Motorola master controller by California’s Alameda County started an often nasty intra-governmental tug of war that has worn on for nearly nine years.
Motorola executives dont talk much about their efforts to win friends in high places, but a trail of public records provides the outlines of the companys attempts to cultivate loyalty and befriend key government decision makers.
As a Motorola saleswoman from 2004 to 2006, Laura Phillips coached local officials on how to secure state and federal grant money to pay for new public safety radio equipment.
It looked in the summer of 2011 as if electronics giant Raytheon Corp. had gained a major foothold in the U.S. emergency communications market long dominated by one company: Motorola.
Mississippis governor fought back hard from one of Hurricane Katrinas more exasperating blows a knockout punch to emergency radio systems that forced rescue workers along parts of the Gulf Coast to communicate with hand-carried notes.
At the eastern end of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sheriff Warren Rupf of Contra Costa County and cigar-chomping Sheriff Charlie Plummer of neighboring Alameda County were political powerhouses seemingly locked in an endless duel of one-upsmanship.