Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Residents and community groups throughout Los Angeles have demanded stricter enforcement of a citywide ordinance prohibiting the installation of new digital billboards and supergraphics. The vinyl images are stretched across the sides of buildings by sign companies that make millions of dollars flouting the law.

In response to such violations, the City Attorney charged a commercial landlord with allowing workers to use bolts and wire to wrap an eight story movie advertisement around the face of a 1929 office building on the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The corner is a major tourist destination along Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

The landlord had been warned via letter and e-mail not to post unpermitted supergraphics on the buildings. As a result of the repeated defiance to the City, a warrant was issued and the landlord was arrested at his Pacific Palisades home and ordered held on $1-million bail. The defendant’s bail was later reduced to $100,000 after he agreed to reduce the risk to public safety by immediately removing the illegal sign from his building.

The arrests came less than a week after the City Attorney’s Office filed a separate civil lawsuit involving more than a dozen other unlawful supergraphics scattered throughout the City.

Since the filing, five landlords from a pair of buildings on Hollywood Boulevard have also been charged with allowing illegal supergraphic signs to be erected. According to Deputy City Atty. Spencer Hart, the defendants removed the signs immediately.

Jane Usher and Michael Bostrom are handling ongoing billboard and supergraphic litigation and other matters for the Civil Branch. Chuck Goldenberg, Richard Kraft, David Shepherd, Jose Egurbide, Greg Parham, and Spencer Hart are investigating and prosecuting cases for the Criminal Branch.