'They haven't broken me,' Phonehenge West builder says
A retired phone company technician who has been battling code enforcement over his ornate maze of structures dubbed "Phonehenge West" said he is not defeated -- even as workers began demolishing his three-decade project.
Alan Kimble Fahey, 59, of Acton had spent almost 30 years building his creation from discarded power company utility poles and other recycled materials. But he was convicted in June on a dozen building code violations because he did not obtain the proper permits.
Fahey has moved to a rental property in Tehachapi and has hired a company to start dismantling a 70-foot tower -- the highlight of his life's labor. Fahey said Friday morning the tower would probably come down within hours.
When asked if he would rebuild, Fahey said, "Even better. They haven't broken me."
But family members said he did not attend the demolition on Friday because he didn't want to see it.
He was scheduled to be sentenced last month, but the proceedings were delayed after he suffered kidney stones. At Friday's hearing in the Antelope Valley, sentencing was again postponed until Sept. 23.
Fahey's case brought a groundswell of support from people who share the view that Los Angeles County's code enforcement regulations are excessive, and Friday's hearing was attended by sympathizers.
"They're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to crush me," Fahey said after the hearing. "Why is that? Why are they trying to destroy a retired phone guy?"
Fahey was briefly jailed after he ignored Superior Court Judge Daviann L. Mitchell's initial orders to vacate and tear down all the structures erected without permits. His family posted the $75,000 bail to get him freed. The judge allowed Fahey to remain out of jail until Friday's court date after she learned he had started to comply with her instructions.
-- Ann M. Simmons
Photo: The demolition of the ornate maze of structures dubbed Phonehenge West began on Friday. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times