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Is $1-million bail for alleged supergraphic violator justice or overkill? Share your view


There are many in L.A. who think there are far too many billboards and supergraphics dotting the landscape.

But when one businessman was accused of illegally erecting a supergraphic on Hollywood Boulevard, the city attorney's office didn't mess around.

Officials jailed Kayvan Setareh, 49, of Pacific Palisades on $1-million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon.

Setareh is accused of three misdemeanor city code violations, two of them related to the city sign law --

Talk back L.A.and as a result, the high bail amount has raised eyebrows.

The arrest was an unusually aggressive move by Trutanich and comes less than a week after the city attorney filed a separate lawsuit involving more than a dozen other supergraphics scattered across the city. Just days after that lawsuit was filed, workers used bolts and wire to wrap the new ad around the face of a 1928 office building on the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

"The days of lax and inconsistent enforcement of billboard and outdoor advertising laws in this city are over," Trutanich said in a statement.

What do you think about Trutanich's action? Is he finally cracking down? Or it this overkill? Share your view.

Photo: Kayvan Setareh was arrested after a supergraphic was plastered on the First National Bank building in Hollywood. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (57)

Yes, this is absolutely justice. Setareh was warned to don't hang up his sign.

It is time that Trutanich prosecutes these scofflaws, not only Setareh but also the other digital billboards and supergraphic companies.

Los Angeles is a billboard town, an absolute shame.

It's justice, because the man is probably filthy rich and any other amount would not serve as a significant deterrent. If people have been paying attention, there are countless illegal supergraphics and advertisements around the city, and it's high time we took our community back from these low-lives.

The sole purpose of bail is to force alleged criminals to rule out flight. One Million Dollars to keep a businessman from fleeing the potential consequences of 3 misdemeanor convictions, if he is convicted, is a blantant misuse of the bail process and a violation of the defemdant's due process rights.

I personally hope they pull Trutanich's ticket.

Justice. Thank goodness. Can't drive anywhere in LA without being assaulted by too many (and a bunch of illegal) billboards.

If the owner has been warned before about the infraction and chose to ignore it, then, $1 million is just about right. Especially if you have several of them in the bank or somewhere else.

Go 'nuch! It's good to see someone in government actually follow through with their campaign promises and enforce the law. The building owner thumbed his nose at the city, and the city took the incident seriously. Now, remove the graphic. Next, remove the digital billboards.

Intellectually, I know that $1M is overkill.

Emotionally, it's payback time! Why are supergraphics still going up? Why haven't ones already up been taken down? What are the safety issues re fire?

Rocky Delgadillo's political name will always be mud, as he got us into this, and the digital billboards, too.

Way overkill, Trutanich cannot be trusted. Anything to get him some money. Remember Trutanich threatening AEG. Not to mention his role in medical marijuana. Instead of city council passing regulations regarding medical marijuana Trutanich is now trying to prosecute those who are operating within state law.

Trutanich cannot be trusted with the power he has in Los Angeles. It's time for change.

Hardly overkill. It's about time. All these supergraphic and medical marijuana people have been mocking the justice system by blatantly ignoring the laws. I fully support making a case study out of these repeat offender. How else will you stop other people if you don't send this kind of precedent. A slap on the wrist or a small fine is not a deterrent when these people are making $100,000+ per month. Jail time will wake them up. I just wish the federal government would take the same action against some Wall Streeters.

pure insanity. why don't they put their pacific palisades efforts into finding the hit & run driver who killed that 13-year-old girl on sunset blvd?

This 'businessman' was warned, IN WRITING, by the City Attorney that converting his building into a billboard was illegal. He went ahead and installed his supergraphic anyway, because he expected to receive a misdemeanor slap on the wrist and small fine, in exchange for over half a million in payments for the billboard. Based on that, a bail of $1 Million does not seem excessive: if he takes his billboard down and forgoes his illegal profits, he can get his bail back. Any other arrangement would mean that his crime does pay.

the punishment sounded overkill until i saw the photo of the building. nowhere else in the world would anybody consider wrapping a beautiful old deco building with a giant gaudy ad. this kind of thing is disgusting and takes away from our city's beauty. its this kind of thing that gives LA a negative and fake reputation elsewhere in the country. take all these things down, we are advertised to enough.

There are bail schedules based on the crime you are alleged to have committed. I do not believe that $1 million would be on any bail schedule for misdemeanors.

Sounds like the City Attorney went overboard or should push to get new laws in place that would warrant that amount of bail.

I think it's a great idea, I think these guys have forgotten they have a civic responsibility beyond making a buck. The only way you are gonna get these businessmen to stop flouting the law is to give them real financial consequences for their actions, some jail time is just icing on the cake. Two thumbs up from me!!

I am normally opposed to heavy handed tactics but the dangers involved with these unauthorized super graphics are just too great. Imagine being a tenant in one of these buildings and you were prevented from access to a fire escape or a fire fighter to reach me due to this obstruction. What happens if one of the cables isn't properly secured and it came loose and it fell down on the sidewalk just as someone was walking by? Even regulated things such as scafolding can be a hazard. Who knows what this chuckle head uses to put up these ads in the middle of the night and who he uses to put them up. Maybe he is being made an example of but he this isn't the first or even second time the guy was warned. So he pays 15% extra to the city to get inspected and permitted. Considering he get $100K plus a month for these ads, add in cost of labor, and other expenses along with a permit he'll still clear between 60-70K a month. He still earns a tidy profit and at least one layer of accountablity is added in the safety area.

This is GREAT NEWS!!!!! It is time that we had a city attorney who will fight for a higher quality of life in this city! Now if we can just get the video billboards to disappear, and the leaf blowers, too.

Good for the city attorney; sick & tired of wealthy, arrogant businesses ignoring laws.

The guy blatantly violated the law. Even after being warned numerous times previously. He still took the money and the risk of putting up an illegal supergraphic. One million dollars is the correct bail for someone who continually snubs his nose at the law and the DA. If it were a poor criminal, he would have been sent to jail for a long time. It is high time we treat criminals, regardless of their economic status, as the criminals they are.

$1M bail for two misdemeanor charges? Really? Yes, it's excessive and an abuse of the city attorney's authority/powers. There are suspects arrested everyday for more heinous crimes than hanging an obnoxious billboard and their bail is substantially LESS. Is crime so low in our city that our CA has time to chase after billboard purveyors? How about pursuing corporations that haven't paid their taxes to the city to keep people in their city jobs? How about some real law enforcement related work from our city attorney instead of headline grabbing grandstanding?

OVERKILL. murderers don't get this type of bail.

Are you kidding me!!! $1,000,000 for a misdemeanor city code violation charge!

This is just another example of a City Attorney gone very wrong. Even some of the most serious felonies are less bail than this case.

Most city code violations start with a warning but Trutanich is pushing his little pet projects agenda for the publicity he knows it will generate.

Someone like the Mayor needs to step in and stop this nonsense!

$1 million was appropriate....should HAPPEN EVERY TIME. These cheesy blighters believe they can toss a few dollars into the Party Election Fund and get permits for ANY and EVERY thing.....in this case, the scum THUMBED his nose at everyone, believing his OVERPAID lawyer could get him off.

ONLY thing worse than these guys ...is the brain-dead electorate, supporting a PAY FOR YOUR PLEASE Party, of political misfits and thieves. These career criminals, in Office, didn't RE-elect themselves....look in the mirror!!

pure insanity. why don't they put their pacific palisades efforts into finding the hit & run driver who killed that 13-year-old girl on sunset blvd?

Posted by: mimi | March 01, 2010 at 02:20 PM

Because it has been determined that this tragic accident was not a hit and run.

However, the bail amount did the the landlord's attention.

I see where this is going. The billboards at some point in the future will be approved. The county will require that you either have "county employees" install, or inspect the billboard for "(Public)Safety". Of course the business will have to pay some sort of substantial "Billboard Application, and Inspection Fee ".

Come on folk, you guys do not ask for a mil for your murderers. It is on ly a sign. This is truly la la land.

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