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L.A. City Council considers graffiti law targeting parents [Updated]

May 13, 2009 |  2:21 pm

[Updated, 4 p.m: The City Council postponed a decision until May 20 because at least 12 members are required to approve and adopt an ordinance and the minimum number was not present today.]

The Los Angeles City Council was scheduled to consider today adopting an ordinance that would hold parents financially accountable for the graffiti vandalism caused by their children.

Under the proposed law, parents would be cited for such vandalism, and the proceeds would be used to help clean and repair damaged property. Parents also would be required to attend parenting classes.

The city spends more than $7 million a year to clean up at least 31 million square feet of graffiti at 675,000 locations, city officials say. The graffiti vandalism program would be similar to one sponsored by L.A. County.

At a news conference this afternoon, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca announced the arrest of two adults and 10 juveniles in an anti-graffiti sweep targeting two main tagging crews in City of Industry.

Sheriff's Sgt. Stewart Sadecki said a high school banner covered in graffiti was recovered from the home of a 16-year-old. At least 21 homes were searched in the 6 a.m. sweep conducted by 200 state, local and federal officers.

“To the parents of those we arrested, as a parent you have to understand that you can be held financially accountable by the court for the vandalism,” Baca said.

-- Ruben Vives